The Center for Design Research (CDR) in the School of Architecture at Virginia Tech has launched an exhibition titled, “Modeling a Vision:  Design . Technology . Impact” at the Branch Museum for Architecture and Design in Richmond, Virginia. The presentation comprises a kaleidoscope of selected work from the past two decades oscillating between questions of design thinking and design making. Possibilities of design research are explored in the development of ideas and prototypes, each comprising parts of the whole and a continuous thread that connects action, impact, and evaluation in ways that inform and expand future activities. The range, venues, and programs are diverse including P.L.U.G. – Portable laboratory on Uncommon Ground – a working and living outpost for researchers investigating communicable diseases in chimpanzees in Tanzania, Africa; and, the Six Day House for the TV Show Extreme Makeover/Home Edition in Blacksburg, Virginia, in which start of construction on Monday was followed by certificate of occupancy on Sunday. Also presented are four CDR entries from the Solar Decathlon Competitions sponsored by the U.S. Dept. of Energy, of which the past two have won the international competitions in Madrid, Spain and Dubai, U.A.E.

Several events are planned around the exhibition that runs through September 10. On July 27, a section of a grid shell structure, originally installed on the Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston, will be assembled on the front patio of the Branch Museum.

On August 17, a panel discussion will focus on three themes circulating in the works of the exhibition: Experiential Learning,” “Technology for Inclusion” and “Impact.” 

On September 8 a workshop focusing on robotic technology and fabrication will be conducted in collaboration with students and faculty from Hampton University and Howard University.

The Center now resides in the School of Architecture in the new College of Architecture, Arts, and Design, and is led by Robert Dunay, FAIA, Joseph Wheeler, AIA, and Nathan King. D.Des.