URBN STEAMlab is founded by D.S. Nicholas and Dr. Shivanthi Anandan in 2012, with a focus on Urban Sustainable Living and green space in the urban environment. Our work integrates evidence-based design and fundamental research processes in science into the research of green space and food production within the home. The project hopes to approach the lack of healthy food in the urban environment through prototyping the greening of the urban row home on the interior, and thus create a new resource for understanding obesity. Our team is also anchored by MS BIO/Design Research student Elise Krespan.

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early prototyping

Trans disciplinary thinking in the design of sustainable indoor and outdoor urban spaces is the key to solving problems of sustainable living for the 21st century. Highlighting this, Nobel Laureate Albert Einstein said, ìWe shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive. URBN STEAMlab (USL) is built around this maxim in its activities and operations. We are a multidisciplinary team of investigators that pursues the research, design and innovation of products and solutions for green spaces in urban living. 

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biology experimentation

We are engaged in developing a healthy growing system for urban underserved housing. Our methods are inherently cross disciplinary, and we have developed a novel method for introducing human centered design into the traditional Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines, while at the same time driving design with these research outcomes. Integrating research and technology in an outcomes-driven informed design loop that includes a strong mentorship component for beginning researchers, we have exhibited and presented the work of the lab nationally and internationally.


undergraduate prototyping

Because our outcomes are practice based physical prototypes, we contribute strongly to the experiential education and training of the students at this university and in the local area.  In addition, our team also develops entrepreneurial research while leveraging existing expertise. At it's heart, this work is a series of project prototypes rooted in real life problem solving and research by students and faculty from many disciplines.