Research groups

The School of Design Innovation is home to a number of forward-looking research groups. Find out what they do and see some of their work.

At the School of Design Innovation, we have a number of research groups known as Design Research Innovation Labs (DRILs). These labs receive support from government, industry, and externally funded grants to produce a wide range of commercially viable and discipline-specific research outputs.

The work we do in these groups helps to push design research forward while engaging with a variety of social issues and needs.

Find out more about the research focus, methods, aims, and objectives of each research group.

CRISIS logo on orange background


The C.R.I.S.I.S. research group supports design-led responses to sustainability challenges impacting Aotearoa New Zealand and beyond.

Data Mine logo on white background with wide blue bands above and below


Data.Mine is a research cluster at the School of Design Innovation that deals with innovation in data generation, retrieval, analysis, and presentation.

Close up of light blue material, maybe digital 3d fabric, against white background


MADE is a research stream at the School of Design Innovation which focuses on multi-material printing.

Four very woolly sheep held on their haunches by four unseen people in white lab coats


More-Than-Human is a research stream at the School of Design Innovation that focuses on designing with, and for, non-humans.

White, interlinked 3d-printed geometric shapes that mesh together to form chain mail

Smart Interactions

Smart Interactions is a research cluster at the School of Design Innovation which combines expertise from multiple design and technology disciplines.

Montage of wooden furniture, man with material covering his mouth, and images of fake meat made from felt

Social Design Lab

The Social Design Lab positions social and cultural issues as highly relevant in contemporary design research.

Dark blue background with yellow-orange stripe at top of screen and pixellated image of hand and orange block

Virtual Worlds Lab

At the School of Design Innovation’s Virtual Worlds Lab, staff and students explore ways to create interactive digital experiences using emerging technologies.