School of Design

Monitoring heritage sites with drones and remote sensors

The Center for Architectural Conservation has been observing adobe ruins for three years as a harbinger for climate change. Any damage that the changing climate will do to exposed structures, it will do it to adobe first.

Penn Today Staff

Structures of the future

The Polyhedral Structures Laboratory, a research group based out of PennDesign, is showcasing an exhibit at the Pennovation Center that teases their work on designs with wide-reaching implications for construction.

Brandon Baker

In the News

West Elm won over millennials. But now it’s really pissing them off

Sarah Rottenberg of the School of Design attributed West Elm’s success with millennials to their stylized yet adaptable aesthetic and accessible price point. Rottenberg’s research has shown that “practicality is a critical attribute for millennials purchasing products.”


Philadelphia Inquirer

Truck traffic is clogging Center City streets. What’s Philly going to do about it?

The School of Design’s Erick Guerra discussed the issue of delivery trucks blocking major streets in Philadelphia. “One of the big first steps is closely analyzing and understanding the problem,” he said. “I’m not sure that’s quite been done yet.”


Philadelphia Inquirer

Can this South Philly congregation beat the church demolition trend?

Frank Matero and Aaron Wunsch from the School of Design were cited for their efforts to support the conservation of South Philly’s 19th Street Baptist Church. The professors, along with a team of students, have researched the building, developed a guide for its restoration, and secured emergency repair grants.


WHYY (Philadelphia)

A Philly-Pittsburgh Hyperloop? State House resolution calls for feasibility study

Megan Ryerson of the School of Design discussed the feasibility and wisdom of investing in Hyperloop lines between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. “… It could really change the distribution of economic activities across cities that, right now, we think of as so distant,” said Ryerson.


Philadelphia Inquirer

Should Philly join New York City in capping Uber and Lyft?

Erick Guerra of the School of Design weighed in on the effects of ride-sharing apps on cities, saying, “I’m confident Uber and Lyft have contributed in some small way to the increase in congestion but not nearly as much as the economic growth and increase in population.”