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Since 2010 the Community Research and Design Center (CR+DC) has expanded its reach and collective ability to provide the communities of South Carolina and Clemson University with a diverse and trusted set of deliverables. This unique offering of products coupled with unprecedented student engagement will continue to afford the CR+DC its ability to uphold the mantra of the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities:  THINK CRITICALLY, BE CREATIVE.  However, with this ability is the necessity for the CR+DC to maintain its own core values and brand as it continues to strive for excellence and its own strategic growth and enhancement.  These essential values are defined in the following points:


  • Be flexible; maintain mobility with lateral and vertical thinking
  • Teaching, Research, Scholarship and Service are cooperative:  work in a comprehensive and inclusionary manner placing student engagement at the center of all activities
  • Student engagement can uniquely enhance design-based research projects and provide an innovative edge
  • Recipriocal engagement:  SERVICE LEARNING
  • Community-based research and desgin do not occur in silos; avoid the traps found in typical academic vacuums.  The community is the work place
  • Ensure the studio or "atalier" is a safe place for the creative mind that supports risk, failure, and exploration to find innovation and success
  • Be humble and understand the root of the problem before emparking on finding the solution


  • Good design must ask questions, not just answer them
  • Understand asset-based design:  know what exists and determine what is needed
  • Do more with less and what is available
  • Engage a hands-on "Grey Collar" approach by blurring the significance of doing intellectual "White Collar" work with the necessity and reality of "Blue Collar" work
  • Work hard and intelligently
  • Work with your hands, use toos, and trust your observations
  • Embrace a visceral approach and enjoy the mess


  • Pursue design excellence and demand it of others
  • Instill a culture that demands integrity and rigor for details
  • Strive for design that enhances the human experience
  • Strive for design that is critical, creative, innovative and present
  • Strive for design that embraces sustainable practices and an intelligent built environment
  • Push your own comfort zone
  • Dream about doing the work, not just the end results