The Studio for Immersive Design and Engagement is a laboratory dedicated to generating ideas and developing solutions through public interest deign process that create opportunities for community engagement for communities, students and faculty.

Collaboration between faculty, community and students provides an experience in which participants are learning at all ends of the spectrum of engagement. Learning occurs through interactions with the environment and each other. As with other public interest design laboratories, built projects, events, and temporary investigations in the urban landscape are all possible outcomes of SIDE Lab projects.

Three overlapping areas of exploration drive these collaborative projects: community engagement, research and exploration, and immersion in experimental practice. SIDE projects are dedicated to using the urban environment as a resource and laboratory for involved learning:  we seek to immerse all project participants in a rich process that can be mined to affect change in the urban environment through active design, learning and thinking.

The Founders and Directors of SIDE are: Debra Ruben; NCIDQ, LEED AP, IDEC Director of Interiors Programs, and D.S.  Nicholas; RA, AIA, NCARB Interiors Faculty and Director of the Sustainability of the Built Environment Minor. Collectively they have over 20 years of experience with participatory design and community projects. They are both committed to the concept of student engagement and community practice as part of their own research and design practices.

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