Research Centers & Labs
Within the College of Fine Arts’ thriving research and creative practice environment, you will find various centers and laboratories dedicated to projects that advance the arts, architecture and design. Faculty, staff and students within several areas across CFA collaborate on these efforts — and, often, with colleagues across Carnegie Mellon — to pursue new and innovative works that benefit our communities at large.
CFA Centers & Labs
Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry
The Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry is a laboratory for atypical, anti-disciplinary, and inter-institutional research at the intersections of arts, science, technology and culture.
Center for the Arts in Society
A collaborative effort of artists and scholars affiliated with CFA and Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, CAS is a faculty research center dedicated to the exploration of the arts as they relate to and involve the larger society.
School Centers & Labs
Center for Architecture Explorations
The Center for Architecture Explorations (CAE) supports architecture education for all ages. Building on the School of Architecture’s experience with youth education, university service learning projects, engagement with architectural practice, and academic research, we create dynamic architectural education pedagogy with an emphasis on building equity and diversity within the design professions.
Center for Building Performance and Diagnostics (CBPD)
The Center for Building Performance and Diagnostics (CBPD) conducts research, demonstrations, and teaching to advance the sustainability and performance of buildings and communities. In conjunction with the Advanced Building Systems Integration Consortium (ABSIC), the CBPD is engaged in ground-breaking work that investigates the impact of natural and advanced technologies on the physical, environmental, and social quality in buildings and communities.
The Code Lab is a multidisciplinary research and learning laboratory within the School of Architecture. It houses a dynamic community of graduate students and faculty investigating relationships between people, spaces and computational ideas and processes.
Computational Creativity Lab
The Computational Creativity Lab is a research initiative directed by Kyuha Shim in CMU’s School of Design. In the lab, designers, researchers and creative technologists explore computational processes and methods to understand aesthetic, sociocultural, historic and future-oriented implications of code and data in design.
Creative AI and Design Launchpad (CRAIDL)
CRAIDL is an Artificial Intelligence (AI) research initiative led by doctoral students at CMU’s Computational Design Laboratory. Housed in the School of Architecture, it focuses on the intersection of AI and art, design, engineering, and architecture in domains including Natural Language Processing, Reinforcement, Learning, Deep Learning, and Machine Learning.
Hypersense: [Em]bodied Computation Lab
The hyperSense: The Embodied Computation Lab is located in the School of Design. The Lab was recently founded and is directed by Dina El-Zanfaly, Ph.D. Its focus is on new roles of computational design and physicality in embodied sense-making, including human perception, cognition, and experience. The lab studies the agency of computational creative modes of production and the emerging social, cultural, and technological behaviors resulting from introducing them.
Learning Environments Lab
The Learning Environment Lab in the School of Design is home to a multidisciplinary team of researchers studying physical and online environments that support learning experiences. We are exploring four areas: (a) improving online learning experiences through data driven interaction design patterns, (b) increasing learning and decreasing distraction associated with wall sized information displays in classrooms, (c) improving learning experiences in design studio environments, and (d) increasing design agility through design studio pedagogy.
Music Cognition Lab
The goal of the Music Cognition Lab is to investigate through various means the relationship between music and human cognition. Topics we explore include auditory science analysis, musician versus non-musician cognitive processing, expectation, memory, learning and plasticity, and musical preference.
Music and Community Connection Lab
Housed in the School of Music, the Music and Community Connection Lab is developing and implementing music programs for older adults with memory loss in a unique partnership with Pittsburgh's BriTE (Brain Training and Exercise) Program.
Remaking Cities Institute
The Remaking Cities Institute (RCI) is the urban design research center of the School of Architecture. The RCI conducts international research in place-making, citizen participation planning processes, and sustainable development.
The Situation Lab designs immersive and generative situations for the public good, for clients, and for kicks. Started in 2013 by Stuart Candy and Jeff Watson, the Lab’s work lives where narrative, space, and play come together to shape the real world.
Transition Design Institute
Transition Design is a transdisciplinary approach aimed at addressing the many ‘wicked’ problems confronting 21st century societies: climate change, forced migration, political and social polarization, global pandemics, lack of access to affordable housing/healthcare/education and many others.