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News > Advancing Architecture and Design > Research Studios, Centers, and the SMARTlab at Jefferson

Research Studios, Centers, and the SMARTlab at Jefferson

College of Architecture and the Built Environment - Thomas Jefferson University
Photo Credits: Student- Joseph Sauers, BArch'23
Photo Credits: Student- Joseph Sauers, BArch'23

Barbara Klinkhammer, Dipl.-Ing. 

Dean and Professor 

The College of Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) at Thomas Jefferson University is renowned for its commitment to innovative education and research and its state-of-the-art research centers.  

The culminating experience of the NAAB-accredited Bachelor of Architecture program engages students in a yearlong research studio. This year, faculty proposed projects with significant global impact. Each studio resulted in collaborations with new strategic research partners and immersive learning opportunities for students locally and internationally. 

Professor Chris Harnish immersed students in design and global health research by working with Kamuzu University of Health Sciences in Malawi and the Jefferson Consortium of African Partnerships. Professor John Dwyer connected students with experts from Jefferson Health, the City of Philadelphia, and local non-profits to develop new city-wide systems to end homelessness. Dr. Edgar Stach and his students collaborated with the Universita IUAV di Venezia to develop proposals for sustainable development in cities under climate threat. Professor David Kratzer and his students explored historic preservation through collaborations with Politecnico di Milano. 

At the heart of CABE’s research initiatives are several research centers that play a crucial role in advancing knowledge and understanding in various fields within architecture and the built environment.  

Launched as a transdisciplinary hub crossing the architecture, design, engineering, and public health disciplines, the Jefferson Institute for Smart and Healthy Cities focuses on leveraging the power of design paired with technology and data analytics to improve the quality of urban life.  

The Malawi Collaborative for Health and Design serves as a collaborative platform that brings together researchers, architects, and healthcare professionals to address the unique challenges faced by communities in Malawi.  

The SMARTlab at Jefferson focuses on research on inclusive design and creative technology innovation. At the heart of SMARTlab’s mission is the exploration of emerging technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and interactive installations pushing the boundaries of architecture and design innovation. These technologies enable designers to visualize and simulate spaces, creating immersive experiences that facilitate inclusive design and accessible spaces. 

These research centers at Jefferson CABE serve as a hub of creativity and collaboration, attracting scholars, students, and industry partners from around the world, further extending the global footprint of Thomas Jefferson University.


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