The mission of NEDlab is to conceive, develop and innovate novel ecological systems for the ultra-urban environment. Through processes of conceptualization, visualization, experimentation, implementation and assessment, students and faculty transfer ecological concepts, processes and theories into the built environment.

Students and faculty work in two temporal scales:

  1. Near-term trajectories where we engage in pursuits that transform contemporary infrastructure into more ecologically responsible infrastructure, such as creating new forms of green infrastructure, green roofs, etc.
  2. Distant trajectories where we engage in futuristic conceptualizations of alternative infrastructures that are based on ecological concepts, theories, or models, such as envisioning cities without roads, etc.

Our work explores two conceptual areas: 

  1. Ecosystem services where contrived ecosystems can be structured to deliver ecosystem benefits.
  2. Human affiliation where humans benefit from the proximity and association they have with vegetation, or other living organisms or processes, in daily or routine experiences.


  • Architectural Infrastructure: living architecture, kinetic living architecture, vegetative roofs, vegetative walls, biological building envelops, living systems, biofilters
  • Urban Infrastructure: green infrastructure, mobile green infrastructure, temporary green infrastructure, bioretention, rain gardens, habitat design


  • Movable Meadows | mobile and temporary green infrastructure technology
  • River Dredge Reuse | incorporation of modified river sediments in urban applications
  • Plants in Thin Air | a culinary pneumatic aeroponic system
  • Stormwater Design Tool | GI conceptualization and implementation


Fields of design and science converge in the lab: architecture, biology, landscape architecture, engineering, interior design, hydrology are common. Voluntary and funded research positions are available for undergraduate and graduate students. Those interested should contact Dr. Reid Coffman.