Research Centers - Architecture

Center for Public Interest Design

The Center for Public Interest Design, founded in 2013, is a research center that aims to investigate and utilize the power of design to make social, economic and environmental change in disadvantaged communities worldwide. The Center is the first of its kind in the nation. Positioned at the forefront of a burgeoning international movement in public interest design among architects, designers, and the general public, the Center is headed by Professor of Architecture Sergio Palleroni, a recipient of the American Institute of Architects’ prestigious Latrobe Prize for Public Interest Practice in Architecture in 2011. The mission of the Center is to meet a critical worldwide need for affordable, sustainable design, with the understanding that architecture can help make the world a better place and that architects can be agents of change.

Shattuck Hall Ecological Learning Plaza

The Shattuck Hall Ecological Learning Plaza, located right outside our doors along Southwest Broadway, is a facility dedicated to research in sustainable building practices while engaging the public and encouraging community interaction. The Plaza's current project features several green wall systems, green roof systems, demonstration landscapes and original furniture design. These ecological building components will be a part of ongoing research that will include analyzing improved urban ecology, on-site energy generation and storm water mitigation. The work in the plaza has been created by PSU students in Architecture, Engineering and the Green Building Research Lab, in collaboration with design and engineering professionals, manufacturers and public agencies. Over time, the Plaza will become a space for further research and experimentation with other building materials and methods.  


UrbanLAB:PDX is a collective that is engaged in making urban design--in its increasingly diverse scales and modes--a focal point for the School of Architecture and Portland State University as a whole. This design "laboratory" explores urbanistic, aesthetic, infrastructural and environmental issues in partnership with public organizations, professional firms and governmental agencies through collaborative, project-based initiative. The collective aims to create new knowledge of the ways in which design at the urban scale can provide an integrating and meaningful definition of the urban experience, and to nurture and share this knowledge through publications, exhibitions, symposia, and workshops with the public.