Learn about the research organizations conducting work in the graduate disciplines at PennDesign.

Architectural Conservation Laboratory

Architectural Archives
The Architectural Archives of the University of Pennsylvania preserves the works of more than 400 designers from the 18th century to the present. Located in the lower level of the Fisher Fine Arts Building, the Archives also houses the Kroiz exhibition gallery, a specialized library, reading room, and seminar room, as well as storage and processing facilities. The Architectural Archives gained its international reputation initially through the Louis I. Kahn Collection whose resources include all drawings, models, photographs, correspondence, and project files from Kahn's office. Other major architects whose work is represented include Alfred Bendiner, Cope and Stewardson, Paul Philippe Cret, Frank Miles Day, Wilson Eyre, Frank Furness, Edmund Gilchrist, Lawrence Halprin, Warren Powers Laird, Mitchell/Giurgola, John Nolan, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Zantzinger Borie and Medary. In addition to these American 19th and 20th-century architects, the Architectural Archives collects the work of several significant European architects.

Penn Praxis was created by the School of Design to further the mission of the school in the fields of architecture, planning, landscape architecture, community development, public art and historic preservation. Penn Praxis is a vehicle for carrying out practical or applied projects for external clients under the direction of PennDesign faculty.

Architectural Conservation Laboratory
The Historic Preservation program has established two institutions to complement the educational focus of the academic program furthering students’ experience in practical preservation /conservation site work and the development and research of policy issues. The Architectural Conservation Laboratory, through cooperative agreements with other universities, institutions, and grant organizations allows students to conduct field work on culturally significant building throughout the world. The Center for Research on Preservation and Society provides a framework for the students to study, explore, and define the emerging relationship between preservation and larger social issues such as economic development, public policy, cultural criticism, and social justice.

TC Chan Center for Building Simulation and Energy Studies
The mission of the center is to develop new knowledge, tools, processes, techniques and continuing education for professionals involved in building energy and technology. The goal is to create healthier, productive, energy efficient strategies that will lead to high performance buildings and sustain(able) environments.

The Building Simulation Group
The Building Simulation Group (BSG) is a research organization within PennDesign and is affiliated with several entities including the TC Chan Center for Building Simulation and Energy Studies. The goal of the group is to develop, investigate, and utilize in practice computational models and techniques for building simulation. This covers broad research issues from interface development, such as Augmented Reality to inference mechanisms, CFD, thermal and lighting simulation and knowledge base systems.

NLSO (Non-Linear Systems Organization)
The Non-Linear Systems Organization is a new research group at University of Pennsylvania School of Design directed by internationally renowned engineer and designer, Cecil Balmond. Its mission is to explore ways in which architecture can demonstrate, test and apply insights and theories from mathematics and the sciences - non-linear, algorithmic and complex - in the design of material structures across an open-ended range of scales, materials and design disciplines. The work of the NSO is experimental and treats the activity of design itself as a form of research.

Penn Institute for Urban Research
The Penn Institute for Urban Research is dedicated to fostering increased understanding of cities and developing new knowledge bases that will be vital in charting the course of local national and international urbanization. By providing an umbrella structure for the urban focused scholarship, research and civic engagement within Penn's twelve schools, the Penn IUR provides the synergy needed to address urban challenges in the 21st century. As a campus-wide institute, Penn IUR sponsors a number of initiatives, stimulates research, provides opportunities for collaborative instruction and engages with the world of practitioners and policymakers.

Scholarly Commons
ScholarlyCommons@Penn is a repository for the scholarly output of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania. It promotes dissemination of their work, and preserves it in a freely-accessible, long-term archive.