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Center for Design Research (CDR)
is a community of scholars focused on understanding and augmenting engineering design innovation and design education.

Founded in 1984, CDR is a nexus for PhD students and researchers collaborating in the realm of design thinking, robotics, rehabilitative technologies, engineering design education, STEM education, neurodesign and business innovation.


logos of the CDR labs


The Biomimetics and Dexterous Manipulation Lab (BDML), led by Professor Mark Cutkosky, conducts research activities that include modeling and control of dextrous manipulation with robotic and teleoperated hands; force and tactile feedback in telemanipulation and virtual environments; and design and control of compliant "biomimetic" robots with embedded sensors and actuators.


The Designing Education Lab (DEL), led by Professor Sheri Sheppard, investigates a broad range of engineering education topics, from the persistence of students and alumni in engineering fields to the impact of exposure to entrepreneurship on engineering students' career interests.


Researchers in the Collaborative Haptics and Robotics in Medicine Lab (CHARM Lab), led by Professor Allison Okamura, design and study haptic systems using both analytical and experimental approaches. This research has applications in robot-assisted surgery, simulation and training, rehabilitation, exploration of hazardous or remote environments, enabling technologies, manufacturing, design, mobile computing, and education. 


Prof. Larry Leifer's designX community is composed of members arriving from a diverse range of disciplines, including sociology, neuroscience, engineering, business and architecture. The initiatives consist of:  Design Thinking Research,  lnteraction Design Group, NeuroDesignScience Program,  Business Design Research, Food Design Research, Foresight Design Research, Resilience Design Research, Human Innovation Design Engineering research group, and Stanford Center for  Innovation & Design Research.

Prof. Sheri Sheppard
Sheri Sheppard

“ How do we educate a new kind of engineer? ... ”