Technology is accelerating profound changes throughout society, affecting everything we do—how we live, work, produce, build, and think.

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To advance our understanding of how design technologies can improve the human condition, the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) has established the Laboratory for Design Technologies (LDT).

Our Mission

Leverage design research to understand the architecture of complex contemporary challenges, and develop prototypes for a more resilient, responsive and productive future.

Designing Change

The Lab creates a collaborative platform for the GSD’s design technology research units and related GSD faculty, whose specialties are responsive technologies and sensing, adaptive and smart material systems, robotics and additive manufacturing, computational design and modeling, urban data analytics, and transport systems design. The researchers’ work is forward-looking, speculative, and imaginative. It projects into the future, yet remains grounded in deep knowledge of science, construction, engineering, and industry practice. LDT is closely aligned with the Master for Design Engineering Program at Harvard, a collaborative degree program by the Graduate School of Design (GSD) and the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS).

Participating Faculty and Research Units

Geometry Lab
Faculty: Andrew Witt MDes ’02, MArch ’07

Materials Processes + Systems (MaP+S)
Faculty: Martin Bechthold DDes ’01, Chuck Hoberman, Jose Luis García del Castillo y López MDes ’13, DDes ’19, and Jonathan Grinham DDes ’18

Responsive Environments and Artifacts (REAL)
Faculty: Allen Sayegh MDes ’96

Urban Stack
Faculty: Elizabeth Christoforetti MArch ’09,  Carole Voulgaris

Scientific Advisory Board

A Scientific Advisory Board, consisting of the GSD dean, the department chairs, the director of research, and others, will meet annually to advise on the research directors in the Laboratory for Design Technologies.

Industry Advisors Group

The LDT Advisors Group unites industry and government stakeholders to join world-class academic researchers in leveraging technological advances to develop design solutions for challenges in the built environment.

The GSD invites leading companies to engage in transformative work by becoming members of the LDT Industry Advisors Group, a unique philanthropic network wherein experts from industry and the public sector will join with design researchers to shape the future of the built environment—from new materials to landscapes and cities.

Donations by the Industry Advisors Group will be pooled in the Laboratory for Design Technologies Research Fund to support research. Findings are shared through reports and annual events with members of the advisory group. To download a PDF with more details, click here.

Interested in joining the industry advisory group?

If you would like to learn more about the Laboratory for Design Technologies or would like to participate, please contact the Managing Director of Regional Development, Courtney Ward.

The LDT Advisors Group Partners






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Affiliated Faculty




Bending light: the GSD/Wyss Institute collaboration

The GSD and the Wyss Institute Adaptive Material Technologies platform have unveiled their first jointly developed patent pending system: the Dynamic Daylight Control System. The new prototypes have the potential to revolutionize building lighting systems with dramatic environmental and economic impacts.

Sep 4, 2014


Material Processes and Systems Group students exhibit at 2016 Cevisama

The annual Cevisama fair is the largest exhibition of ceramics and terracotta in the world, and this year a team of students from the Harvard Graduate School of Design’s Material Processes and Systems Group (MaP+S) are presenting what Architect’s Newspaper called “one of the most advanced and exciting projects in the entire fair.”

Feb 4, 2016