Center for Design Research awarded ICTAS Diversity & Inclusion Seed Investment Grant

The strategic goal of integrating teaching and research has matured and intensified in the continuing projects of the Center for Design Research (CDR). With that success, the CDR has adjusted its tacit involvement relating to diversity and inclusion to active participation. As part of that effort, the CDR has been awarded a $20 K ICTAS Diversity & Inclusion Seed Investment Grant. The objective of this program is to build direct faculty-to-faculty research partnerships between faculty at Virginia Tech and faculty at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) or other under-represented college programs.

Led by Dr. Nathan King, co-Director and Robert Dunay, FAIA, Director, the CDR is partnering with colleagues at Hampton University and Howard University. Two decades of projects have afforded the center explorations into new opportunities of design conceptualization and realization. Digital design, fabrication, and robotics have facilitated innovative applied research and yielded contributory coursework for the design disciplines. However, the tools enabling advancement of research and teaching protocols are often only used in the wealthiest of areas on the most expensive projects. The funded Initiative, Democratizing Design Robotics, is formulated to bridge the divide and expand access across the region, fortifying collaboration across multiple universities towards an inclusive research and academic environment.


For more information contact Dr. Nathan King (

We are thrilled to announce that Donna W. Dunay, FAIA, ACSADP, G. Truman Ward Professor of Architecture, has been awarded the Louise Blanchard Bethune Fellowship from the American Institute of Architects. This prestigious award is reserved for retiring members of the AIA Strategic Council who continue to serve as advisors and ambassadors to the organization.

Donna was honored with this top recognition in tribute to her three-year term on the council. She joined with others to forecast trends and strategies to ensure the profession looks to the present and future with relevant and vital concerns to suggest frames for action.

Expressing her gratitude, Donna says, "It is a tremendous honor to be a recipient of the Louise Blanchard Bethune Fellowship, and to be recognized by the AIA Board of Directors, my peers, and colleagues in the AIA. It is so important that our profession listens broadly while looking deeply into the future for the benefit of communities and the environment."

We are proud to have such an accomplished, visionary leader in our architecture community. Congratulations, Donna, on this well-deserved recognition.