Lab for Urban & Social Innovation

The Lab for Urban and Social Innovation (LUSI) unites communities, students, faculty and stakeholders in collective action through real-world design, construction and environmental projects. The Lab for Urban and Social Innovation’s process uses a wide range of sustainable design strategies to make resilient, enriching and healthy solutions for communities. Supported by the broad expertise of its accomplished faculty, LUSI works alongside communities for research and design with a human-centered approach.

The Lab for Urban and Social Innovation’s mission includes:

  • Celebrating community identity
  • Increasing community participation
  • Raising economic and cultural value
  • Educating students and communities
  • Raising the level of research and evidence-based design

Our Work

Projects are shaped by each individual challenge. Our process includes workshops, design studios, design charettes, funded research and consulting services. With fifteen years of urban and social innovation, our projects have included urban design, architecture, landscape architecture, geodesign, interior design, and historic preservation.

The Lab for Urban and Social Innovation enables engagement of community, design professionals, faculty and students in each project. This empowers students to make a positive impact in our city and world as they participate in real-world projects, fulfilling the mission of Jefferson, where active, collaborative and real world education is grounded in liberal arts and cross-disciplinary thinking—what we call Nexus Learning.

Lab for Urban and Social Innovation - Community Projects

Underserved neighborhoods historically suffer disproportionality when it comes to ecological social and economic justice. In order to address these pressing issues, the College of Architecture and the Built Environment established the Lab for Urban and Social Innovation as a center of community design and research, which has played a key role in the development of sustainable resilient and healthy community. 

This booklet contains the many projects created with the community over the last 10 years. 

Interested in Partnering?

The Lab for Urban and Social Innovation receives numerous project proposals from communities, non-profit and for-profit organizations and industry professionals throughout the year. We welcome you to visit our proposal submission page to submit a project request, and we look forward to discussing potential collaborations.