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Theory, Research & Practice

The Design Lab’s mission is to make Harvard University a world leader in product design theory, research, and practice. 

We help creators develop more desirable products and services based on behavioral research and pedagogical leadership. 

We define ‘Desirable Design’ as:

  1. Design that truly helps people by reducing stress and/or adding delight.
  2. Design that is as inclusive as possible
  3. Design that is developed based on quality design and UX research.
  4. Design that feels organic
  5. Design that accounts for complex attitudes and behaviors, recognizing that someone who cares about the environment may recycle (+), eat a lot of meat (-), and drive often (-).

How We Began

The Lab was founded in 2014 by Dr. Beth Altringer of Harvard's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and MSMBA Program as a hub of teaching and learning for product and service design.

What We Do


Teaching and learning product, UX, and service design

Industry Collaboration

Industry case studies and collaborations. Contact ba[at] with inquiries.

Job Board

Connecting students, researchers, professionals around exciting opportunities. Link in footer.

Current and Past Team

2020 Team

Laurie Delaney, Senior UX Research &  Teaching

Rosa Weinberg, Senior Curriculum Designer

Nick Stager, UX Analytics Research

Bob Pak, UX Analytics Research

Zhixin Lin, Visual Design

Maria Roldan Castro, Visual Design

Jared Myers, UX Research & Teaching

2019 Team

Laurie Delaney, UX Research & Teaching

Ningxin Cheng, Design & Research

Jordan Degraaf, BD Research

David Gomez Gil, Analytics Research & Teaching

Jason Lee, UX Research

Chenlu Wang, UX Research & Design

Vicky Xu, Research

Jazib Zahir, Research

Ailing Zhang, Design & Research

2018 Team

Laurie Delaney, UX Research & Teaching

Brandon Shaik, UX Analytics Research & Teaching

Berto Ceballos, Teaching

Chenlu Wang, UX Research & Design

Chong Hu, UX Design

Ningxin Cheng, UX Research

Vicky Xu, Research

Hanna Kim, Graphic Design

2017 Team

Laurie Delaney, UX Research & Teaching

Genevieve Ennis Hume, Research

Ngoc Doan, Teaching

Santiago Mota, Teaching

Keith Scott, UX Research & Design

Lilian Taylor, UX Research & Teaching

Yaara Yacoby, Research

2016 Team

Lilian Taylor, UX Research & Teaching

Ngoc Doan, Teaching

Neal Adolph Akatsuka, UX Research

Jacques van Rhyn, Event ManagementStu

New Opportunities

Research Team

Interested in joining our research team? We regularly accept new researchers. These are usually part-time, learning and mentorship-based roles. We currently do not have paid positions. Register your interest in research positions here and we’ll be in touch.

Teaching Team

Interested in joining the teaching staff for the Innovators’ Practice or Design Survivor or Integrated Design? We select teaching fellows 1-2 months before each term. These are part-time roles and only available to Harvard-affiliates. Please fill in this short form to let us know. A month or two before term starts, we will get in touch regarding the selection process.


The Design Lab’s research on teaching and learning is funded by SEAS and the Harvard Initiative for Learning and Teaching. In addition to working with industry, we often collaborate with the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, the Harvard Innovation Labs, other departments, and other institutions on teaching, immersive field courses, and mentoring.

Remote Teams

Data Science Team

Our data science team works with us on complex R&D projects and focuses on quantitative models, machine learning, and large-scale text analytics.

Full Stack Development Team

Our development team works with us to turn the refined prototypes from our research into products and services that we can use for teaching materials.

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From our Blog

Lab Projects

Learn about past teaching and learning projects.

Certification Course

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Our enrolled team

Need to Train Your Team?

We offer flexible, cost-effective group memberships for your business, school, or government organization


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This section is for students enrolled in the Fall 2020 ES285 course at Harvard University