We research wicked problems
The Community Design Research Center at the University of Virginia is dedicated to pushing the boundaries of design and planning—using trans-disciplinary research to address the wicked problems facing the 21st century.
& [re]shape communities.
Our research focuses on one central theme: the [re] shaping of communities to be healthy, resilient, and generative. The Center supports this theme at multiple scales, in various contexts.
PROJECTS and INITIATIVES
- This project seeks to gather local knowledge about local agriculture and food heritage, and to use this knowledge to inform decision-making that will shape our landscape and our lives for years to come.
- This project integrates education, health and business development with the goal of attracting new employers, maintaining the competitiveness of existing companies, and creating new ventures.
- This project protects the biodiversity of the Clinch River watershed, which supports more rare species of freshwater mussels and fish than any river system in North America.
- The Falmouth Field School, a month-long program held each summer in Falmouth, Jamaica, teaches students a variety of architectural and conservational skills.
- Interdisciplinary ecoMOD teams create sustainable, prefabricated housing units for affordable housing organizations, such as Habitat for Humanity and Piedmont Housing Alliance.
- The Learning Barge is a floating, self-sustaining environmental education field station on the Elizabeth River that offers field trips and learning opportunities to area school children and adults.
- This project assists disaster recovery efforts and underserved populations through partnerships with humanitarian, community-based organizations, professional firms and manufacturers.
The PEOPLE of CDRC
Suzanne Morse Moomaw is an Associate Professor in Urban & Environmental Planning. She specializes in community and economic development at the neighborhood, community, and regional levels and has led a distinguished career in the philanthropic realm and academia. More
Affiliated Faculty & Students
Harriett Jameson is a lecturer & Program Director of the CDRC. A recent graduate, she was bestowed numerous university and national awards for her scholarship, including the 2014 Finalist for the National Olmsted Scholarship, 2014 American Society of Landscape Architects Student Honor Award for her thesis. More
SYMPOSIA, EVENTS, and EXHIBITS
- This event explored the potential of civic engagement examined the possibility of design thinking in solving today's wicked problems and discussed solutions and best practices for engaging with communities.
- Peter Levine's “We are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For” bridges the gap between theory and practice, academia and community. CDRC hosts an reading and discussion group with Dr. Levine.
- Jane Jacobs championed the methods of observation, common sense and discovery to explain the inner workings of mid-century American cities. CDRC reads her book “The Death and Life of Great American Cities.”
Support the CDRC
Support faculty & student research. These projects connect the experimental research methods of academia with real design solutions that help build or rebuild healthy, resilient communities.