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Design + Build Program

Research and Engagement

Our programs center on design excellence and unique approaches to contemporary urban, environmental, and ethical challenges. The School of Architecture focuses on multidisciplinary and self-directed design and research opportunities. 

Public Interest Design

Public Interest Design (PID) is a participatory and issue-based design practice that places emphasis on the “triple bottom line” of sustainable design that includes environmental, economic, and social challenges across the world. Public Interest Design seeks to broaden access of the benefits of design to all of the general public. By connecting the design process to global issues, Public Interest Design helps further establish the public value of design to a broader audience and provides designers with a larger platform to affirm the value of all the design disciplines.

The built and natural environments—including the spaces in which we live and work, the products we consume, and the messages we receive—has a powerful impact on how we function in society. Good design requires attention and sensitivity to social, economic, political, cultural and behavioral issues. The aim of all curricula at the College of Design is to develop the designer’s perception, knowledge, skills and problem-solving abilities in order to prepare students for a successful career—and life. Public Interest Design provides one area of study that links design education and professional practice with the knowledge and skills to address global issues.

History of Public Interest Design at NC State

The strength of Public Interest Design at NCSU extends back into the late 1960s, and the College of Design has a recognized history of community-based service through the teaching legacies of retired professors including Angelo Abate, Peter Batchelor, Georgia Bizios, Randy Hester, Henry Sanoff, Richard Wilkinson, as well as current faculty including Robin Abrams, Tania Allen, Tom Barrie, Bryan Bell, Kofi Boone, Gene Bressler, Chandra Cox, Andrew Fox, David Hill, Sharon Joines, Robin Moore, Celen Pasalar and Art Rice.

Become a Collaborator

The “Request for Collaboration” application process is provided by the School of Architecture (SoA) as a means of service to the general public. The goal is to find well-suited matches that mutually benefit the public and meet the educational, outreach and research goals of the SoA. Services vary and may include the visioning, design, planning and/or construction. While the mission of NC State University combines education, research, and outreach, each of the following opportunities have specific educational goals that must be met. Project activities and scope must meet the students’ learning outcomes for each project.