So-Yeon Yoon


So-Yeon Yoon

Associate Professor
3411 Martha Van Rensselaer Hall
Phone: (607) 255-8467 Fax: (607) 255-0305
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Curriculum Vitae
Biographical Statement:

So-Yeon Yoon is associate professor of design and environmental analysis and director of Design-User Experience-Technology (DUET) Research Lab at the College of Human Ecology, Cornell University. She practiced interior design and architecture in Korea and the U.S. With her education and industrial experience in design with digital media, she taught in the School of Design at the University of Ulsan in Korea and worked with industry partners on large scale interface/interaction design projects. From her interdisciplinary experience in education and design practice, Yoon determined to study user-technology interaction in the context of design and usage of interfaces and earned her PhD in Information Technology with emphasis on Human Computer Interaction from the University of Missouri.

In 2014, the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) has announced Professor Yoon as its 2014 Educator of the Year. Yoon’s research has been developed around the interdisciplinary areas of design, user experience and human computer interaction using computer simulation techniques. To better answer the research questions related to user experience and effects of designed environments, she explores innovative approaches with research collaborators from neuroscience, marketing, and media psychology.Prior to Cornell, Professor Yoon taught in the Architectural Studies Department at the University of Missouri in Columbia for 12 years, leading the design with digital media graduate program. Professor Yoon was a recipient of 2011 Gold Chalk Award for teaching excellence and three-time finalist for excellence in teaching with technology award from the University of Missouri. 

Teaching and Advising Statement:
I teach students design problem solving and visual communication skills from manual to advanced digital media to be creative and sensible communicators and designers, with an emphasis on the interaction between the user experience and the designed physical environment. In teaching design studios, I believe in the mission to teach students to be insightful problem solvers with the abilities to tackle hidden issues in user experiences of today's inherently digital, fast-paced, and competitive environments; and to effectively deliver research-driven solutions for optimal user experiences of the designed environments. As a proponent of active learning, I guide students to active learners who contribute to their own learning.

Current Professional Activities:

Editorial board member, Korean Society of Emotion and Sensibility. 2015
Guest Editor, Special Issue of the Journal of Global Fashion Marketing (JGFM) on Fashion Visual Merchandising. 2013-2014
Educator Partner, American Society of Interior Designers. 2013-present.
National Council for Interior Design Certification (NCIDQ: 021944 – US & Canada), 2006
Korean National License for Interior Designers (93203030219N), 1993
Korean National License for Engineer Architecture (93204030684P), 1993

Current Research Activities:

The primary areas of my research are : 1) user experience and meaning of environmental factors in designed environments using strategic self-reports and psychophysiological signals with computer simulation techniques, 2)  design evaluation employing emerging technology to understand emotional, cognitive, and behavioral responses to design elements in physical as well as the virtual built environment, and 3)  design problem solving process and communication in relation to Human computer interaction focusing on individual and cultural differences. 

The goal of my work is to advance evidence-based understandings of multi-dimensional user responses to design elements towards optimal user experience by design. As exploratory research, psychological, emotional, physiological aspects of design elements are tested in the Design User Experience Technology (DUET) research lab. Current topics include reactions to interior stimuli known to evoke emotional responses and creativity. Cognitive and affective qualities of user experience are identified and examined in such research. Other issues being investigated include effects of design elements of the environment such as geometry, color, light, shape, and movement on user experience focusing on space perception and wayfinding using computer simulation.

Current Public Engagement Activities:

I provided consulting for the Ithaca Community of Recovery on the facility rennovation project. 
As a part of the community engaged learning project for my DEA 3301 class, students developed proposals to redesign the basement spaces of the facility in coordination wtih the board of directors. 


Ph.D. University of Missouri-Columbia, Information Science and Technologies. 2004 

M.A. University of Missouri-Columbia, Environmental Design. 1998

M.HE. Pusan National University, Korea, Housing & Interior Design. 1995

B.HE. Pusan National University, Korea, Housing & Interior Design. 1993

Courses Taught:

DEA1150 Design Graphics and Visualization
This course immerses students in the act and art of design communication. Drawing and rendering techniques using both manual and digital media will enable students to effectively present ideas visually to oneself and others. Orthographic and perspective methods for conceptual and formal drawing are covered to understand form and space. The four main projects for this class include: 1. free hand sketching and rendering; 2. creative dorm room design using AutoCAD and SketchUp; 3. from analog to digital: perspective drawing/ Photoshop rendering; 4. recreate an exemplar of modern architecture, visual documentation.

DEA3301 Interior Design Studio
This course intends to engage students in design processes of socially relevant innovation. One or two projects throughout the semester will immerse students into different types of user experience design as design-problem solving. It is organized around the design process broken into four phases: research/ideation, prototyping, design evaluation, and design documentation/presentation. Effective use of technology and research/evidence driven design approach will be emphasized throughout the design process.

DEA5520 Virtual Experience of Designed Environments The purpose of this lecture course is threefold: 1) to analytically examine and understand theory and empirical research utilizing digital media for design in the fields of environmental psychology, environment and behavior, affective engineering, and human-computer interaction; 2) to develop interactive visualization techniques to create virtual environments simulating physical, built environments with the strategic control of design variables; and 3) to develop the ability to generate papers with theoretical and practical implications related to the previous theories and findings in the various areas of digital media for design.  

DEA4020 Supervised Fieldwork

DEA4000 Directed Readings

DEA4010 Empirical Research

Related Websites:

DUET Research Lab:  
Professional Portfolio:

Administrative Responsibilities:
  • Faculty Advisory Board for IT in Human Ecology 
  • College of Human Ecology CAD Committee 
  • Faculty director, department website redesign and maintenance
  • Faculty advisor for Cornell University Sustainable Design

Selected Publications:

Book Chapter

1. Yoon, S.-Y. & Chung, S. (2016). Exploring the 3C Workplace: For Connectedness, Collaboration and Creativity. In Alan Hedge (Ed.), Ergonomics Design for Healthy and Productive Workplaces, CRC press. pp. 389-406.

2. Yoon, S.-Y. & Wise, K. (2014). Reading Emotion of Color Environments: Computer Simulations with Self-Reports and Physiological Signals. In J. Watada, H. Shiizuka, K. Lee, T. Otani, & C.-P. Lim (Eds.), Industrial Applications of Affective Engineering, Springer. pp. 219-232.


1.   NanoWhere (Juried exhibit)–Cornell Council of Arts Biennial, MVR Gallery, Sept. 18-30. 2014.

2.    2014 Design Communication Association Drawing Exhibition of selected works, School of Architecture, Southern Polytechnic State University. Oct. 1-5. 2014.  

3. Solo exhibition (Juried exhibit), Pixel & Paint, FanCo Gallery, Seoul National University, June 19-Aug.17. 2013

4. Solo exhibition, An Enjoyable Journey from Analog to Digital, Cornell DEA Gallery, Jan. 21-Feb.16. 2014

Journal Article Refereed

1.     Alvarez, I., Julia, Begõna, & Yoon, S.-Y. (In press). Identifying customers’ emotional responses towards guestroom design by using facial expression recognition, in virtual and real environments. Information Technology & Tourism.

2.    Alawadhi, A. & Yoon, S.-Y. (2016). Shopping behavioral intentions contributed by store layout and perceived crowding: an exploratory study using computer walk-through simulation. 41(4), Journal of Interior Design. pp. 29-46.

3.     Sadeghi, R. & Yoon, S.-Y. (2016). Effects of detail and navigability on size perception in Virtual Environments, International Journal of Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design. 10(3), pp. 17-26.

4.    Yoon, S.-Y., Choi, Y. & Oh, H. (2015). User attributes in processing 3D VR-enabled showroom: gender, visual cognitive styles, and the sense of presence. International Journal of Human Computer Studies. 82. pp. 1-10.

5.    Chandrasekera, T., D’Souza, N., & Yoon, S.-Y. (2015). Virtual Environments with soundscapes: a study on immersion and spatial abilities with way finding tasks. Environment and Planning B-Planning and Design. 42. pp. 1003-1019.

6.    Choo, H. & Yoon, S.-Y. (2015). Visual merchandising strategies for fashion retailers. Journal of Global Fashion Marketing, 6(1). pp. 1 - 3.

7.    Chandrasekera, T., & Yoon, S.-Y. (2015). Adopting Augmented Reality in design communication. The International Journal of Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design. 9(10). pp. 1-14.

8.    Lee, H.-K., Yoon, S.-Y., Lee, J., Kim, H.., Kwon, H., Kang, H., Hur, H., Lee, M. & Jun, D. (2015). The effects of sale signs on consumer intentions to visit a store. Journal of Global Fashion Marketing, 6 (1), pp. 20 - 32. 

9.    Choo, H., Yoon, S.-Y., Jung, H., Jim, G., Shin, H., Kim, H., & Kim, H. (2015). An exploratory study on visual merchandising of an apparel store utilizing 3D technology. Journal of Global Fashion Marketing, 6(1), pp. 33 - 46.

10.  Lin, Y.-F., & Yoon, S.-Y. (2014). Exploring the effects of lighting on consumer responses in a retail environment using 3D walk-through animation. Archive of Design Research, 2(28). pp. 5-25.

11.  Alawadhi, A. & Yoon, S.-Y. (2014). Effects of store image on perceived product value. International Journal of Design Management and Professional Practice. 7(3), pp. 31-52.

12.  Hwang, J., Yoon, S.-Y., & Bendle, L., (2012). Desired privacy and the impact of crowding on customer emotions and approach-avoidance responses: Waiting in a Virtual Reality restaurant. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management. 24(2). pp. 224-250.

13.  D’Souza, N., Yoon, S.-Y., & Islam, Z. (2011). Understanding design skills of the generation Y: an exploration through the VR-Kids project, Design Studies. 32(2). pp. 180-209.

14.  Cho, J. & Yoon, S.-Y. (2011). Different aesthetic impressions of building design between designers and laypersons, Journal of Korean Living Science Research.21, pp.15-21.

15.  Yoon, S.-Y., Oh, H., & Cho, J. (2010). Understanding Furniture Choices using a 3D Virtual Showroom, Journal of Interior Design. 35(3). pp. 33-50.

16.  Yoon, S.-Y., Hwang, J., & Park, J. (2010). Affordable 3D VR technology for sensible design: an approach to designing an end-user oriented service space. Journal of Korean Society for Emotion and Sensibility. 13(1). pp. 269-278.

17.  Yoon, S.-Y., & Yoon, S.-H. (2010). Different experiences of a Virtual Reality interface for design review, Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal. 4(6). pp. 313-331.

18.  Hwang, J., & Yoon, S.-Y. (2009). Where would you like to sit? Understanding customers’ privacy-seeking tendencies and seating behaviors to create effective restaurant environments, Journal of Foodservice Business Research. 12(3), pp. 219-223.

19.  Yoon, S.-Y., Laffey, J., & Oh, H. (2008). Understanding usability and user experience of web-based 3d graphics technology. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction. 24(3), pp.288-306.

20.  Oh, H., Yoon, S.-Y., & Shyu, C.-R. (2008). How can virtual reality reshape furniture retailing? Clothing and Textile Research Journal. 26(2), pp.143-163.

21.  Uddin, M. S., Islam, Z., & Yoon, S.-Y. (2005). People in digital space: simplified options of scaled figures in 3D animation. Journal of the Design Communication Association, pp.40-45.

22.  *Oh, H., *Yoon, S.-Y., & Hawley, J. (2004). What virtual reality can offer to the furniture industry? Journal of Textile and Apparel, Technology and Management, 3(1). Available at (*equally contributed)


23.  Uddin, M. S., & Yoon, S-Y. (2004). House X, Scheme G: From 3D Game Engine to Virtual Representation of Architecture. Journal of the Design Communication Association, pp. 64-69.


1. Chandrasekera, T., & Yoon, S.-Y. (2015). The Effect of Tangible User Interfaces on Cognitive Load in the Creative Design Process. 2015 IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality – Media, Art, Social Science, Humanities and Design, Fukuoka, Japan. Sept. 29-Oct.3. pp. 6-8.

2.Lin, Y.-F., & Yoon, S.-Y. (2013). Enhancing Atmospheric Effects: Exploring the Effects of Display Lighting on Consumers’ Psychological and Perceptional Reactions in a Retail Environment. Conference Proceedings of the Environmental Design and Research Association (EDRA 44). pp. 339. Providence RI, May 29-June 2.

3. Chandrasekera, T., & Yoon, S.-Y. (2013). An augmented reality-based spatially related navigation system for internal navigation of healthcare environments. Conference Proceedings of the Environmental Design and Research Association (EDRA 44). pp. 244-245. Providence RI, May 29-June 2.

4. Alawadhi, A., & Yoon, S.-Y. (2014). Display layout and perceived crowding: Examining the effects of interior design on customers’ perception of crowding in a retail environment, the 2014 IDEC Annual Conference, March 6-9. Accepted.

5. Chandrasekera, T., D’Souza, N., & Yoon, S.-Y. (2013). Soundscapes in immersive virtual environments. Conference Proceedings of the First International Symposium on Affective Engineering (ISAE2013). pp. 341-350. March 6-8.

6. Yoon, S.-Y., & Kim, D. (2013). Experiencing Color Environments by Different Age Groups: Tapping into the Potentials of VR Simulation. Conference Proceedings of the First International Symposium on Affective Engineering (ISAE2013). pp. 193-198. March 6-8.

7. Yoon, S.-Y., & Wise, K. (2013).Reading the Mind and Body Responding to Color Environments: Computer Simulations with Self-Reports and Physiological Signals. Proceedings of Interior Designer Council (IDEC) Annual Conference, pp. 694-695. Indianapolis, Indiana. Feb. 17-19.

8. Yoon, S.-Y. (2014). Creative Scholarship Presentation. From Digital Sketching to Watercolor Painting, Interior Designer Council (IDEC) Annual Conference, New Orleans, March 7

9. Lin, Y.-F., & Yoon, S.-Y. (2013). Exploring the Effects of Display Lighting in a Retail Environment,Interior Designer Council (IDEC) Annual Conference, pp. 364-366, Indianapolis, Indiana.. Feb. 17-19.

Selected Keywords:
3D Virtual Environments, Simulation, Digital Media, User Experience, Psycho-Physiology Measures, Emotion, Built Environments, Interior Design, Retail Environments, Visual Merchandising, Space Perception.

The information on this bio page is taken from the CHE Annual Report.