Human Centered Design faculty share an interest in the enrichment and improvement of human health, well-being, and life quality. We see design as a problem-solving tool that helps people to think better and to improve the human condition. Our multidisciplinary approach builds on materials, design, biology, chemistry, engineering and social science concepts and methods.

Faculty Research Interests

Apparel Design

Fatma Baytar
Assistant Professor
Research interests: digital technologies; particularly 3-D virtual prototyping and 3-D body scanning; and examining how these technologies transform apparel design processes and products. She is passionate about gaining deep knowledge on the capabilities of these technologies as well as users’ interactions with them. Fashion and Body Tech Lab.

Denise Green
Associate Professor
Research interests: cultural studies of style and fashion; ethnographic practice; documentary film production; Native American textiles and regalia; history of anthropology; textile printing and dyeing; space and place studies; museum studies and curatorial practice.

Van Dyk Lewis
Associate Professor
Research interests: anthropology and philosophy are used to understand contemporary design and fashion. A theoretician and designer, his current work focuses on sustainability, digital fashion, fashion networks, race, image, fashion as event, and fashion fictions.   

Heeju Terry Park
Associate Professor
Research interests: thermal comfort and mobility of clothing; Design, development and evaluation of protective clothing; Smart clothing development; Footwear comfort; Athletic products and performance. Performance Apparel Design Lab

Jaleesa Reed
Assistant Research Professor
Research interests: millennial Black women’s beauty culture and beauty retail spaces. Her interdisciplinary research focuses on connecting human geography, feminist studies, and merchandising in the fashion, apparel, and textile industries.

Design Strategy and Innovation

Keith Evan Green
Research interest: human-robot and human-computer interaction, interactive and adaptive physical environments, enabling technologies, cyber-physical systems, and interaction design. Green’s research crosses with the Health & Well-being cluster. Architectural Robotics Lab

Saleh Kalantari
Assistant Professor
Research interests: human–technology partnerships in the design process, and the resulting opportunities for innovation and creativity,  developing innovative AI-aided design tools with two main focus areas: (1) developing cyber–human systems to improve the application of designers’ ingenuity, skills, and competencies in the creation of a unique product; and (2) using biometric sensory data (EEG sensors, heart-rate monitors, motion-capture technology, etc.) and novel computational techniques to more effectively understand human responses to architectural intervention during the design process. Design and Augmented Intelligence Lab

Cindy Hsin-Liu Kao 
Assistant Professor
Research interests: themed Hybrid Body Craft, blending aesthetic and cultural perspectives into the design of on-body interfaces, creating novel processes for crafting technology close to the body and investigating opportunities for cultural interventions in the development of technologies that move beyond wearable clothing and accessories and are purposefully designed to be placed directly on the skin surface. Hybrid Body Lab

So-Yeon Yoon
Associate Professor
Research interests: understanding user experience and usability in various types of built environments using advanced visualization and bio-sensing technologies in three main areas: a) user experience of environmental factors in using psychophysiological signals combined with high-fidelity simulations; b) creative problem-solving process and communication in relation to human-computer interaction and design focusing on individual and cultural differences; and c) design evaluation employing emerging technologies to understand emotional, cognitive, and behavioral responses to design elements in physical and virtually built environments. DUET Lab

Fiber Science

Margaret Frey
Vincent V. C. Woo Professor in Fiber Science and Apparel Design
Research interests: electrospun sensor assemblies; cellulose dissolution and fiber formation; electrospun controlled absorption, timed-release fabrics (controlled absorption and release of chemicals); micro and nanofibers for filter media (efficiency of air filter media).

Yasser Gowayed
Professor and Chair
Research interests: developing computational models and experimental techniques to further the understanding of the mechanical and thermal behavior of polymer and ceramic matrix composites.  

Juan Hinestroza
Rebecca Q Morgan '60 Professor of Fiber Science & Apparel Design
Research interests: textile nanotechnology and smart fibers: functional nanolayers; functional nanofibers; transport phenomena in complex interfaces. Textiles Nanotechnology Laboratory 

Larissa Shepherd
Assistant Professor
Research interests: tailoring nanofibers for use in military, energy, and electronic applications, new fiber formation, Immersion Electrospinning, and its potential applications. 

Tamer Uyar
Associate Professor
Research interests: nanofibers and nanomaterials with novel functionalities for potential applications in NanoTextiles, Environmental/Filtration/Water Treatment, NanoBiotechnology, Catalysis, Food and Food Packaging, Sensors, Energy, NanoAgriculture, Nanocomposites. NanoFibers & NanoTextiles Lab

Health & Well-Being

Gary W. Evans
Elizabeth Lee Vincent Professor
Research interests: the environment of childhood poverty, children's environments (housing, schools, playgrounds, toys),  cumulative risk and child development, environmental stressors, and the development of children's environmental attitudes and behaviors. 

Janet Loebach
The Evalyn Edwards Milman Assistant Professor in Child Development
Research interests: children’s perception and use of their everyday environments and the socio-environmental factors which influence children’s behavior and well-being including the impacts of neighborhood type on children’s community play and mobility and assessment and design of natural and built play and learning environments for children. 

Mardelle McCuskey Shepley
Research interests: the design of healthcare facilities (with a current emphasis on mental and behavioral health settings) and the evaluation of healthcare environments, ranging from single rooms and furniture to site and landscape design. Cornell Institute for Healthy Futures

Nancy M. Wells
Senior Associate Dean for Research + Graduate Education, Professor
Research interests: how the built and natural environments affect human health and well-being including a) the influence of nature (including school gardens) on children’s health and related outcomes, and b) the effects of the built environment (i.e., housing quality and neighborhood design) on health behaviors, studied engagement of older adults in environmental volunteerism.  Wells Lab

Jay (JungKyoon) Yoon
Title: Assistant Professor
Research interests: how products can be systematically designed to enrich users’ momentary as well as long-term experiences by means of emotions, building on knowledge and methods from user-centered design, positive psychology, and persuasive technology. Recent research focuses on designing for affective experiences and subjective well-being with an emphasis on increasing designers’ emotional intelligence. Meta Design & Technology Lab.

Rana Zadeh
Associate Professor
Research interests: evidence-based healthcare design, translating research into design and policies to achieve the best possible health, safety and efficiency outcomes, the development of non-pharmacological system solutions to improve quality of life and manage symptoms for patients with advanced and chronic illnesses, particularly in end-of-life, geriatric, and acute care settings. Health Design Innovations Lab

Sustainable Futures

Leighton Beaman
Associate Professor of Practice
Research Interest: Intuitive, collaborative, and inclusive processes for generating affective, sustainable and socially responsible architectural and material culture production which leverage both emergent (AI, robotics, material computation)and traditional design, making, and social technologies. This research overlaps with the design strategy and innovation cluster. Material Propositions Lab

Jack Elliott
Associate Professor
Research interests: minimizing the negative environmental effects of making buildings by considering the embodied energies of building materials and the implications of how they are brought together to make a building (Triakonta building systems),  reducing the carbon footprint of concrete, the most abundant substance produced by humankind (Charcrete), considering the impact of aesthetics as another form of outreach pertaining to our declining biophysical situation (Arborworks).

Ying Hua
Associate Professor
Research interests: research on sustainable buildings focuses on: 1) methodology and tools for building post-occupancy evaluation to understand the interaction between occupants, building systems, and the resulting building environmental performance and user satisfaction, and 2) stakeholder interaction and engagement to address non-technological barriers for the delivery of sustainable buildings. She is also doing work under Design Strategy and Innovation to understand the impact of workplace in corporate, education, and healthcare settings on occupants’ perception of work environments, interactive behavior and organizational outcomes.

Renata Leitao
Assistant Professor
Research interests: at the intersection of critical design, participatory design, communication design, and design anthropology, specializing in participatory action research.