Facilities and Equipment Descriptions

Human Centered Design & Engineering

The Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE) is one of ten departments in the College of Engineering, with Bachelor's, Master's, and PHD degree programs. Its mission is to "research, design, and engineer interactions between humans and technology, putting people first." HCDE research (1) considers the role of communication and technology in human activity; (2) prioritizes the needs, desires, and behaviors of people and communities who interact with technical systems; and (3) addresses the specifics of design by working with interdisciplinary communities of researchers to build innovative technological solutions.


HCDE is located on the first, second, third, and fourth floors of Sieg Hall, and the third floor of the Engineering Annex Building, on the Seattle Campus of the University of Washington. Sieg contains the HCDE main office as well as faculty and staff offices, shared faculty research labs and a department lounge, as well as one large main conference room and two smaller meeting rooms, and shared departmental labs, including a virtual reality lab, a make lab, and a design lab.

The department's main office is located in room 428 Sieg. HCDE students, faculty, and staff are welcome to use the refrigerator and microwave in the HCDE lounge, located in room 422 Sieg.

The main HCDE conference room in Sieg 129 is available to HCDE faculty and staff for meetings related to HCDE projects; this space can be reserved by contacting the HCDE main office. HCDE also maintains additional small meeting spaces in rooms 314 and 427 of Sieg Hall. These spaces can also be reserved online here, or by contacting the HCDE main office.

HCDE has a robust research agenda, with faculty running research labs and centers. The Virtual Reality Lab, the Make Lab, and the Design Lab comprise HCDE's Educational Labs (Ed Labs), shared spaces to be used by HCDE students and faculty for teaching, learning, and research activities.

The Virtual Reality Lab is located in room 129A and contains installed components of an HTC Vive and a high performance desktop. An Oculus Rift is also available for check out. The Make Lab in room 313 of Sieg Hall contains tools and materials for hard prototyping (drill press, soldering, as well as many other tools and parts) on movable tool benches that can be ported to classrooms, and is available by appointment.

The Design Lab is located in Sieg 233 and includes movable tables and chairs of different sizes and kinds, wall-mounted and movable white boards, and movable carts with an assortment of prototyping supplies. The space is able to accommodate up to 40-person classes and features ceiling-mounted projectors, screens, speakers, and white board walls. The motivation for creating the Design Lab was that much of our work is highly collaborative, with many courses and research efforts employing project-based models for teaching and learning that have our students working in groups. This group work requires a different kind of space than the typical classroom for an effective practice. The work takes many different forms, depending on the specific project or phase of the project. Examples are brainstorming sessions, design meetings, group discussions, prototyping, presentations, and exhibits.

Computing Resources

Standard computer facilities and common computing services such as internet access and printing (including 3D printing) are available to members of research teams through facilities available across the University of Washington campus. The Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering employs a full-time Computing Manager who provides dedicated IT support to faculty research endeavors and the department.


PIs, Co-PIs, postdoctoral researchers, and graduate student RAs working on projects are provided with standard office space and basic services such as telephones, internet access, and mail service.

Administrative Support

The Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering makes available appropriate administrative, financial and computing support staff resources to assist PIs, senior personnel, postdoctoral researchers, and graduate students involved in research.