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Community Engagement Lab

Architectural sketch of a Community Engagement Lab project in Elkins.

About the Lab

Within the School of Design and Community Development, the Community Engagement Lab (CEL) brings the expertise of faculty and the energy of students to solve critical problems of design.

  1. Regional Design & Planning
  2. Community Design, Planning & Visioning
  3. Site Design, Planning & Visioning
  4. Interior Architecture & Design

Design partnerships with the Community Engagement Lab may focus on regions, corridors, communities, sites and buildings. Through the Community Engagement Lab, faculty engage classes of students in performing a variety of participatory methods and service-learning approaches to design including:

  • Design charrettes
  • Visioning workshops
  • Asset mapping
  • SWOT analysis
  • Focus groups
  • Mind-mapping
  • Surveys

Products of the processes include:

  • County and community plans
  • Landscape and building rehabilitation strategies
  • Illustrations and visualizations of designs and plans
Regional Design and Planning - at the scale of the county, transportation corridor, or watershed
  • Geographic Information Systems mapping inventory and analysis
  • Opportunity identification planning- corridors, districts, sites
  • Circulation (multi-modal) planning 
  • Multi-functional infrastructure planning (storm-water, transportation, etc.)
  • Watershed planning and ecological design
Community Design, Planning & Visioning - at the scale of the small town or neighborhood
  • Geographic Information Systems mapping inventory and analysis
  • Opportunity identification planning- corridors, districts, sites
  • Circulation (multi-modal) planning 
  • Multi-functional infrastructure planning (storm-water, transportation, etc.) 
  • Community plans and design visualizations 
  • Sustainability Assessments 
  • Community development and health - infrastructure assessments and accessibility
  • Affordable housing inventory and approaches 
  • Green housing principles, practices, models, demonstration projects
  • "Songs and Stories" of the community
Site Design, Planning & Visioning - at the scale of a community park, streetscape or urban plaza
  • Geographic Information Systems mapping inventory and analysis
  • Site programming 
  • Relationship diagramming
  • Conceptual design and visualization
  • Construction detailing
  • Circulation (multi-modal) planning
  • Storm-water infrastructure planning
Interior Architecture & Design - at the scale of the building or room
  • Preliminary building 'programming'
  • Interior 'space planning'
  • Interior design 'visualization’

If you are interested in a Community Engagement Lab project in your community, please submit our form to start a conversation.

Community Engagement Lab Intake Form

For more information about the Community Engagement Lab, contact Peter Butler.