Home technologies are changing rapidly, and material and product choices can affect sustainability. Consumers, who are more diverse than ever, want the design of their homes to reflect their needs and lifestyles.

The Center for Real Life Design offers students and professionals alike with a laboratory for exploring residential design and technologies that address the demands of families and consumers today.

The center’s principal mission is to study and demonstrate residential design solutions that meet the needs and interests of families and consumers. The center includes six operational kitchens, which represent various price levels, product selections, and space designs. These kitchens also reflect the diversity of today’s households, by including features that accommodate young children, older adults, and people with disabilities. Their new residential technologies and sustainable materials also reflect current trends in residential design.

The largest kitchen, the Universal Design Kitchen, contains many features that support older adults and people with disabilities. The Loft Kitchen reflects an urban, sustainable, and multifamily lifestyle. Other designs include the Traditional Kitchen, the Gourmet Kitchen, the Contemporary Kitchen, and the Outpost Kitchen. The center also includes a classroom, a laundry area, a home office, and a library.

The center affords Residential Environments and Design students, consumers, researchers, and those in residential design, construction, and remodeling the opportunity to learn about technologies, products, and their application to universally designed spaces.