Student-faculty teams are working throughout the state to improve Indiana citizens’ quality of life through hands-on, problem-focused experiences. Our signature method is to work alongside community partners through charrettes—intense, on-location community design workshops that build innovative plans with local input.

Hundreds of projects have addressed the following issues and more:

  • affordable housing
  • urban and suburban growth planning
  • economic revitalization
  • transportation
  • land use challenges
  • historic preservation
  • energy efficiency

Want to partner with us? We offer low- to no-cost assistance for businesses, nonprofits, neighborhoods, and communities with qualifying research and community-engagement projects. Let’s discuss the possibilities.

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Project Criteria

We take on a wide range of projects that meet the following criteria and align with our mission. Projects must:

  • provide students with viable learning experiences in urban planning and design, citizen participation methods, and neighborhood revitalization
  • be community-based, problem-focused, and hands-on
  • offer our students the opportunity to inform and educate the public about critical community planning, revitalization, and development efforts
  • engage our students in gathering accurate, unbiased information and objective comparisons of alternative strategies and proposals
  • include opportunities for analysis, programming, planning, and design synthesis of urban environments

Centers and Labs Dedicated to Community

The following centers and labs support our efforts to provide Indiana communities with low- or no-cost expertise while offering students excellent opportunities for real-world experience:

  • CAP INDY (College of Architecture and Planning: Indianapolis) affords the college a unique opportunity to help shape not only future professionals, but also the future of Indiana's capital and largest city.
  • Center for Energy Research/Education/Service (CERES) is an interdisciplinary resource focusing on issues related to energy and resource use, alternatives, and conservation. 
  • Center for Historic Preservation (CHP) provides experiences for students and services to communities seeking economic development through preservation.
  • Andrew Seager Archives of the Built Environment collects and preserves records about Indiana’s historic sites and structures.
  • Digital Fabrication Lab (DFL), known as the Fab Lab, contains equipment to design and make 1:1 prototypes of building and furniture components as well as small-scale models.
  • Digital Intermedia Arts (IDIA Lab) The Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts (IDIA Lab) partners with Hybrid Design Technologies, within Ball State’s Office of Information Technology, to investigate the intersection of the arts, science, and technology.
  • Digital Simulation Lab The state-of-the-art environment and tools create stereoscopic 3-D design presentations that clients use for thermal, solar, environmental, acoustical, or structural simulations of proposed construction projects.