Interactive Product Design Lab
(IPDL) at Georgia Tech
As told by Jim Budd | Chair of the School of Industrial Design / Director of IPDL
March + April 2012
How do you describe your lab to visitors? The Interactive Product Design Lab (IPDL) is a purpose-built lab
designed to support both teaching and research by allowing students to investigate, explore, and experiment with an extensive array of new technologies. Central to this concept, the School of Industrial Design
has placed a high priority on the need to foster and develop interdisciplinary, team-based collaboration with
other educational and research units from across the campus, including the School of Interactive Computing,
the School of Mechanical Engineering, the Graphics Visualization and Usability Lab (GVU), and the Center for
Assistive Technology and Environmental Access (CATEA). The Interactive Product Design Lab was built in the
summer of 2011 and opened in time for the 2011 fall semester.
The lab was partially funded by a competitive grant from the Institute Tech Fee Fund, generated by a
tuition surcharge to support the acquisition of advanced technological resources for the benefits of students.
Our lab is in fact part of a cluster of Invention Studios across campus—the brainchild of mechanical engineering professor Craig Forest, who has been working to provide technology clusters operated by the students
for the students. Parallel labs across campus offer capabilities ranging from water-jet cutting and injection
molding to wave soldering, laser cutting, and CNC machining. The goal is to provide a comprehensive, unified
infrastructure that is readily available.