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Laura Cole, PhD

Laura Cole

Director of Graduate Studies
Assistant Professor, Interior Design Program Coordinator
142A Stanley Hall
Phone: (573) 882-3202
Curriculum Vita
Green Building Literacy Lab Website:


PhD, University of Michigan, 2013; MS, University of Michigan, 2009; BSHES, Environmental Design, (FIDER accredited), University of Missouri – Columbia, 2001.


Laura Cole, Ph.D, is an Assistant Professor of Architectural Studies at the University of Missouri at Columbia. Prior to completing her Ph.D., Laura worked as a professional, NCIDQ-certified interior designer for the world-class architectural firm Perkins+Will in the Chicago office. There, she worked on a variety of commercial design projects in workplace and hospitality sectors, including numerous LEED projects. Her combined Ph.D. at the University of Michigan was in Architecture and the Natural Resources & Environment. Her current research focuses on the social dimensions of green buildings, with a focus on how sustainable design can be environmentally educational for the public. She examines how school and museums buildings can be stages for formal and informal STEM education. Her interdisciplinary work has been published in notable peer-reviewed journals such as Environment & Behavior, The Journal of Interior Design, The International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, and Environmental Education Review. She is a member of, and presents regularly at the annual conferences for, the Interior Design Educator’s Council and the Environmental Design Research Association. She has developed and taught a range of courses at the undergraduate level including interior design studios, design business practices, architectural programming, and sustainable design.

Research Interests

Green building literacy; Public green building education; Green buildings for formal and informal STEM Education; School Buildings; Green Museums; Place Attachment in Sustainable Built Environments