For two decades, Simon’s research and teaching centers on design thinking, the iterative process of integrating human experience into problem solving and finding innovative approaches to support how people use and interact with their environment. She has led dozens of community-based master planning and design projects funded by communities and non-profit organizations, and with graduate students and faculty colleagues has undertaken the bridge between teaching, research, and practice, including “A New Vision for Midtown” for the College Park City-University Partnership and “Glen Echo Park Master Plan” for the Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture. She was co-Principal Investigator on WaterShed, the University of Maryland's first prize-winning entry into the Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon 2011. In 2015, Simon established ARCH601 Topical Studio: Bridging the Gap, a Global Classrooms Initiative course in collaboration with Al-Nahrain University in Baghdad, which was awarded Architect Magazine’s Studio Prize in 2019.
Her current research, in collaboration with Assistant Professor Ming Hu, combines an immersive virtual environment (VR) and electroencephalogram (EEG) as a promising tool to evaluate alternative options during the early design stage of a project. This work is funded by an AIA Upjohn Research Initiative Grant.