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Action Labs

Designed to unlock fresh knowledge.

At the Institute of Design at Illinois Tech, we don’t see the world as a problem to solve—it’s an opportunity to see what design can make possible. Through our Action Labs and other initiatives, we show groups how design can help them find novel approaches to the world’s most pressing issues and transform the systems that underpin them—from cities, education, and finance to food, healthcare, and technology.

Addressing systemic issues requires longer-term initiatives.

Leveraging ID’s expertise in systems design and human-centered design, the Action Labs undertake a specific industry challenge and creates a consortium that works cooperatively to produce new, actionable knowledge to address that challenge. By bringing communities and experts together, we maximize collective action and adoption.

Nurse speaking to a member of the public
Equitable Healthcare

Medicine should fit people—all people.

The Equitable Healthcare Action Lab focuses on changing frontline care delivery via people-centered design. From new payment models to workforce issues, leveraging technology to confronting racial disparities, we work with a range of partners to address systemic drivers of inequity.

Food Systems

Good food can be available for all.

With a focus on accessibility, equity, and sustainability, the Food Systems Action Lab draws on faculty expertise in circular economies and systems change to limit food waste and empower communities.

Sustainable Solutions

Sustainability is more than a buzzword.

At the Sustainable Solutions Action Lab, we believe that the best solutions—across industries—are sustainable ones. From the civic sector to finance, we define sustainable solutions as flexible approaches that take an entire system into consideration so that positive change can be enacted for the long term.

Pedestrians at an intersection heading different directions.
Net Positive Behavior

Design can help us understand humans, their behavior, and the results.

Through experimentation and real-world application, the Net Positive Behavioral Lab generates behavioral design approaches to understand and address some of the thorniest issues our society faces and bring about net positive results.

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