Melissa Conroy
Melissa Conroy
Senior Lecturer
Human Centered Design

HEB 262


Melissa Conroy is a Sr. Lecturer in the Department of Human Centered Design at Cornell University. Her interests are surface design, drawing, and textile design with a specialty in knit structure and design.

Knit Structure mentor for The Hybrid Body Lab. Knit Structure engineering for the Optic Lace Project in the Performance Apparel Lab. 

As an instructor of design, I nudge students towards finding their own voice as designers. I teach fundamentals such as color theory, surface design techniques, and knit textile structures. My classes are hands on and project based. Students learn skills that are both technical and skill based in concert with creative problem solving. The technical aspects of my classes are tool boxes that are not separate from, but entwined with the creative process. I believe ideas often arrive through working with materials and media. Students are given the space to discover both the potential and limitations inherent to media. Working directly with materials through a guided, creative prism has the benefit of generating ideas and solutions to design problems. It is my hope that by taking one of my classes, students will have the foundation they need to synthesize the skills they have learned, so that they can continue to work on those skills independently.

FSAD 3250: Color and Surface Design of Textiles

FSAD 3370: Intro to Knit Textile Structure and Design

FSAD 1140: Fashion Computer Aided Design


“Knit Skin: Machine Knitted Scaled Skin for Locomotion” ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) Jin Hee (Heather) Kim, Shreyas Patil, Sarina Matson, Melissa Conroy, Cindy Hsin-Liu Kao (2022)

“Knit Dermis: Fabricating Tactile On-Body Interfaces Through Machine Knitting” ACM Designing Interactive Systems (DIS) Jin Hee (Heather) Kim, Kunpeng Huang, Simone White, Melissa Conroy, Cindy Hsin-Liu Kao (2021) Best Paper Honorable Mention Award 


Our Prince of Scribes, Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2018 (contributor)

Poppy’s Pants, Columbia, SC: USC Press, 2018

The Lowcountry Coloring Book, Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books, 2016

Grandma is an Author, Maplewood, NJ: Blue Apple Books, 2011

Poppy’s Pants, Maplewood, NJ: Blue Apple Books, 2009

Play All Day (Design for Children), Berlin, Germany: Gestalten Verlag, 2009 (contributor)

Cornell Council for the Arts Faculty Grant 2021, 2022

Surface Design Association Personal Development Grant, 2021

Printmaking Associate, The Ink Shop, Ithaca, NY

Exhibiting Artist and Published Author/Illustrator



For my knit structure and design course, I have reached out to Local Fiber, an organization that supports sheep farmers. I hope to some day use locally spun yarn in the course.

Faculty Advisor, Human Centered Design

2006, M.S. , Textile Design, Philadelphia University

1998, M.F.A , Painting, University of Georgia

1991, B.F.A, Painting, Rhode Island School of Design

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