2021 Research and Creative Scholarship Showcase

June 2, 2021

Every year faculty, instructors, researchers, and students within the College of Design present their work during the annual Research and Creative Scholarship Showcase. While the 2021 showcase happened virtually, the research was as impressive as ever!

Faculty, Instructors, and Researchers 

21st Century Development

Director Richard Graves

The 21st Century Development strives to provide a healthy environment for all people and living systems now and in a dynamic future. Professionals from architecture, engineering and other fields are partnering with public officials, private sector and nonprofit leaders to reimagine the practice of development and bring 21st Century Development concepts to life around the world.

Biophilic Net-Positive Design: Living Lab Network

Professor Mary Guzowski, Professor Abimbola Asojo, Assistant Professor Genell Ebbini (Indiana State University), Head Joe Favour, Director Richard Graves, Assistant Professor Jessica Rossi-Mastracci 

The Biophilic Net-Positive Design Project is a collaboration between faculty in architecture, interior design, and landscape architecture to explore the intersections between new theories and practices in biophilic and net-positive design, including their relationships to sustainable, resilient, and regenerative design. The project seeks to improve health and environmental benefits across scales and design disciplines. The project goes beyond an anthropocentric perspective of biophilic design to also explore ecological benefits to other species and living systems. 

Building Bridges to Design and STEAM Careers for Underrepresented Youth

Professor Abimbola Asojo, Dr. Clarkson

In conjunction with community partners, our team delivered the Building Bridges to Design and STEAM Careers for Underrepresented Youth in Minnesota funded by NEA from August 3 to 7, 2020. We used an inclusive and culturally sensitive lens from African Americans, Hmong, Somali, and Vietnamese ethnic minority communities to deliver STEAM educational content, promote access and career opportunities in communities that have experienced educational disparities.

Design Justice

Assistant Professor Terresa Moses

Our vision for design justice centers on intentional community relationships which support anti-racist culture shifts, decolonized pedagogy, and the liberation of underinvested communities within design academia and industry. The mission of Design Justice is to create anti-racist design approaches through cross-collaboration.

Design for Youth/Preventing Incarceration

Professor Julia Williams Robinson

The design research project Design for Youth/ Preventing Incarceration began in 2018, with the first of three design studios. Working with Angela Cousins from the Hennepin County Department of Corrections and Dan Treinen from BWBR, Architects, School of Architecture  Professor Julia Robinson and the students investigated youth development and treatment services/programs for youth to create a continuum of services for at-risk youth. Beginning in 2019 the project focused on Northside neighborhoods, affiliating with UROC and with consultant Alysha Price of Price Dynamics, engaged community member participation.

Through research (site visits, readings, videos, guest speakers) and collaboration with local community members, youth professionals, and design professionals, the team identified key issues facing youth, and investigated approaches such as trauma-based care, spectrums of care, prevention, and rehabilitation.

In 2018, student projects addressed after-school activities, child care, and adult education to help families with child-raising. 2019-2020 work focused on older youth, including a restorative justice facility, housing for homeless youth, and job training in arts and business. The diverse student proposals explore the hypothesis that providing appropriate youth and family services in the community contributes to the prevention of juvenile incarceration.

Do Liberals Want Curbside Pickup More than Conservatives? Contactless Shopping as a Protective Behavior during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Assistant Professor Naeun Lauren Kim, Assistant Professor Hyunjoo Im 

Consumers have shown a dramatically increased interest in contactless shopping in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on the protection motivation theory, this study investigated how contactless shopping is growing as a protectionary action against COVID-19. Findings from a nationwide online survey (n=311) confirmed the impact of politicization of the pandemic on consumer responses for contactless shopping intention and the importance of threat and coping appraisals in taking protectionary actions. Results imply that retailers must invest in contactless shopping and provide an in-store shopping environment that prioritizes the health and safety of shoppers and employees to decrease the threat of virus infection during shopping. However, in doing so, retailers are recommended to develop different marketing strategies regarding contactless shopping based on consumers’ political orientations.

Empathy in Healthcare Design: A Human-Centered Approach

Assistant Professor Cecilia X. Wang

Empathy plays a significant role in human-centered healthcare design and focuses on the stakeholders we design by constructing emotionally meaningful and functional ideas.  Human-centered healthcare design involves and values both patients and health providers throughout the design process rather than checking for "user-friendliness” at the end of the process.

Exploring Expert Perspectives on User Attribute and Profile Definitions for Fashion Recommendation

Research Fellow Heidi Woelfle, Bolanle Dahunsi (Apparel Studies), Nika Gagliardi (Apparel Studies), Professor Lucy Dunne

Fashion recommendation research and development has accelerated dramatically in the last few years. Yet, the field struggles to arrive at a consistent ontology of user, garment, and outfit

attributes that effectively define predictive relationships for successful personalized recommendations. A key obstacle is the challenge of capturing user attributes at a large scale.  One potential means of identifying the most salient attribute and profile definitions is expert advice. However, the domain of fashion and dressing advice is broad, and individual experts often disagree or offer conflicting advice. Here, we explore the breadth of expertise on defining user profiles through an exhaustive assessment of 156 years of advice literature. 

Goldstein Museum of Design: Exhibitions and Curricular Collaborations

Interim Director Jean McElvain

The Goldstein Museum of Design will provide an open forum for individuals or groups interested in guest curating exhibitions, or those interested in how collection objects can be integrated with curricular goals. Images of past projects will be available, as well as examples of object use in classrooms across a number of disciplines.

Gratitude and Reciprocity: Foundational Values for a Sustainable Apparel Future

Professor Elizabeth Bye, Sage Davis  

Systemic practices of the consumer culture have put the environmental and social health of all living beings at risk. A shift in the western mind-set may be possible when there is collaboration with Indigenous peoples to understand a perspective of gratitude for the earth’s many gifts and to learn the wisdom of the generations before us. We invited the voices of Indigenous apparel makers from North America to share the foundational values that guide their apparel making. Indigenous makers openly shared how they include gratitude and reciprocity in their practices as it related to the six themes: relationships, connection to the land, spirituality, community, identity and healing, and sustainability.

Increasing the Energy Efficiency of Buildings Through On-body Supplemental Heating: A Feasibility Analysis  

Research Fellow Rolf Jacobson, Professor Lucy Dunne

Human-induced climate change is one of the greatest global-scale challenges humanity has faced. Buildings of all types must undergo a radical transformation to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions and avoid the worst impacts of climate change. There are numerous hurdles to accomplishing these goals. However, a shift in thinking from conditioning space (which is inherently wasteful) to conditioning people directly could offer a new, more rewarding path forward. Through on-body supplementation, it may be feasible to reduce thermostat setpoints, with a potential reduction in building heat loss and heating energy consumption proportional to the reduction in temperature. Modulating the near-body microclimate has the additional benefit of enabling customization of thermal experience: multiple users of a space can experience different near-body temperatures, better-suited to their individual comfort and productivity. 

Landscapes of Hope

Professor Tasoulla Hadjiyanni

As the Twin Cities became the global epicenter for racial justice following the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020. "Landscapes of Hope" features stories of communities through over 200 buildings and places in the Twin Cities where protests occurred. The stories elaborate on how the design of the built environment can pave the way for social and racial justice, equality, freedom, and global citizenship. Photographs taken during and after the protests are accompanied by a narrative that includes research on the building’s history, past and current owners, information on organizations and other institutions supporting the business, the impact of the business on the local community, demographics of the neighborhood, and how the building relates to the elimination of disparities. 

Paths to Net-Zero Energy in Affordable Townhomes

Research Fellow Daniel Handeen, Research Fellow Rolf Jacobson

This project was a collaborative effort to explore strategies to achieve Net-Zero Energy for a townhouse development to be built by the Northfield Community Action Council. Northfield CAC used funding provided by the UMN Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships to engage CSBR researchers Rolf Jacobson and Daniel Handeen to look at HVAC equipment, thermal bridge modeling, and hygrothermal performance of proposed wall assemblies. In partnership with the builder, architectural designer, CAC staff, and passive house experts at Precipitate, we arrived at solutions that would meet Net-Zero energy and Passive House certification at an estimated 5% more than standard construction cost.

The Post-Pandemic City

Professor Tom Fisher, Researcher Joseph Hang, Researcher Java Nyamjav

Funded by a grant from The McKnight Foundation, researchers conducted six community workshops that looked at the impact of the pandemic on workplaces, housing, retail, transportation, and equitable development.

A Qualitative Study: Small Business Merchandising Strategies in Rural Minnesota

Assistant Professor Jacqueline Parr (St. Catherine University), Professor Marilyn Bruin

This study is motivated to develop strategic guidelines tailored to solve the unique problems small, rural retailers face in today’s competitive retail environment. Because there is very limited understanding of the actual experience of rural retailers’ operations and experiences, it is necessary to explore and accurately capture the experience. Therefore, the objective of the study is to provide in-depth understanding of the rural small retailer’s self-evaluation of the business environment, merchandising strategies, challenges, and opportunities. Using qualitative methods, in-depth interviews were conducted with eight small businesses. Five emergent themes were identified from the data. The themes consisted of localism, experiential retailing, niche market, awareness, and marketing strategies. These emergent themes provide a deeper understanding of the actual experience that rural retailers face in today’s competitive retail landscape.

Student Research Projects

Active Textiles for an Astronaut Compression Device

Rachael Granberry (Apparel Studies), Assistant Professor Brad Holschuh, Assistant Professor Julianna Abel

Medical compression garments for astronautic applications have traditionally been developed using pneumatic bladders or high-denier elastane textiles. Shape memory alloys (SMA) could enable a third compression technology that is both low-profile and dynamic. SMA is an active material that is well-suited for use in medical compression applications due to its large recovery stresses (500-900 MPa) and transformation strains (6-8%). When spun into multifilament yarns and reconfigured into knit textiles, NiTi material strains are amplified to produce large structural actuation strains (over 40%) and large distributed forces (over 530 N/m active force and over 330 N/m generated force). The force requirements for astronautic compression can be as large as 395 N/m – well within the force range of these SMA knitted actuators. We present methods of building these active textiles into a garment spanning the feet to waist to enable dynamic and low-profile compression for astronauts. 

Carbon Sequestration Potential From Emerging MOF Technology

Jordan Hedlund (Landscape Architecture)

This project looks at the carbon sequestering power of Metallic Organic Frameworks, or MOF's. This technology harnesses the naturally occurring high-energy reactions of these metallic structures to literally pull carbon out of the air. What also makes these structures so powerful is that research is showing the ability for them to saturate and desaturate at such high levels and not reduce the overall yield, allowing for reuse over and over again. The MOF used in this project uses zinc molecules in the form of an epoxy that is then applied to a specially designed planting structure. The epoxy is then studied to see how much carbon has been removed from the air and if plant growth has had any effect on it.

Characterizing Hybrid Active / Passive Systems for Thermal Microclimate Control

Eric Beaudette (Human Factors and Ergonomics)

In any given indoor environment, there is a large spread of thermal comfort experiences from users, where one person can report feeling cold and another, feeling warm. Augmenting a user's experience using wearables that directly impact their microclimate can improve thermal comfort, but the effects of insulation materials on the heating devices in terms of heating functionality and wearability are not well understood. This study aims to quantify heating temperature differences between insulation layers on top of a heating device prototype in an insulated chamber, as well as testing the candidate insulation materials for wearability parameters, including thickness, stiffness, density, and water vapor permeability.

A Comparison and Validation of Traditional and Three-Dimensional Anthropometric Methods for Measuring the Hand through Reliability, Precision, and Visual Analysis

Emily Seifert (Human Factors and Ergonomics)

This study examines the reliability and precision of three different tools for collecting anthropometric data of the hand, traditional anthropometric tools (caliper and tape measure) and two full-color hand-held three-dimensional scanners (Occipital Structure Sensor and Artec Leo). Eight defined measurements were analyzed for Anthropometric Tool Reliability Analysis and Anthropometric Tool Precision Analysis. The scans provided by the two three-dimensional scanners were analyzed during the post-processing stage for the Three-Dimensional Visual Reliability Analysis and Three-Dimensional Visual Precision Analysis using a Post-Processing Visual Analysis Likert Scale. This study validates the Artec Leo for use in further anthropometric data collection for the hand. The results provided by the Occipital Structure Sensor were promising when visible landmarking is used. The use of visual analysis as a form of evaluation was crucial to understanding where the scan’s quality might affect the data collection outcomes and should be considered within future studies.

Design of Active Material Compression Stockings

Megan Elaine Clarke (Apparel Studies), Rachael Granberry (Apparel Studies), Crystal Compton (Apparel Studies), Dr. Surbhi Shah, Assistant Professor Julianna Abel, Assistant Professor Brad Holschuh

Compression stockings are a common off the shelf garment that apply an evenly distributed pressure across the body for medical, athletic, and consumer purposes. The pressure provided by these garments vary, typically in the 8-40 mmHg range, depending on the intended use or condition being treated. To provide the desired compression, the stockings must be undersized relative to the body dimensions of the wearer. Compression stockings on the higher end of the compression range are often difficult to don because they must be stretched over the body. As a result, some populations such as the elderly and those with limited upper body and grip strength find it difficult to don these garments leading to low compliance. To improve and ease the donning experience, this research seeks to develop a compression stocking that utilizes a custom shape memory material that transitions between low- and high-stress states according to the applied temperature.

Diverse Representation in Architectural Case Studies: Underrepresented Women in Architecture In the Global South

Jasmine Jackson (Architecture)

Architecture has been proven to be a male dominated world. Women, particularly from non-European backgrounds, have a hard time being recognized for the work they do. This project is focused on finding the significant work these women are doing around the globe. We choose 20 inspiring female architects around the global south that are doing impressive work, to help them gain more recognition, and representation in academia. This is just the start of a vast database of underrepresented architects around the world.

Equitable Access to Sustainable Apparel

Paige Tomfohrde (Apparel Studies), Professor Elizabeth Bye

Who is sustainable apparel for? Although the minority race population of the United States is growing rapidly, the sustainable apparel industry lacks access for non-white individuals. This mixed methods research explored eight hypothesized barriers to sustainable apparel purchase behavior among a group of minority women: Style, Price, Knowledge, Availability, Discrimination, Cultural Integration, Visual Representation, and Politicization. The findings of the survey and interview based research indicated that women of color face many of these barriers to sustainable apparel purchase behavior, but also have a wealth of inherent knowledge and new ideas about creating a more equitable sustainable apparel industry. 

An Experiment Investigating the Effects of Retail Greenery and Lighting Temperature in Virtual Reality Fashion Apparel Stores

Ahmad Saquib Sina (Retail)

The main objectives of this study is to understand the impacts of retail greenery in biophilic design and lighting temperature on consumers’ perceptions (pleasure, arousal, perceived merchandise quality) and responses (satisfaction and purchase intentions) in virtual reality fashion stores. The results showed that consumers prefer retail greenery application over non-retail greenery. Cool lighting creates higher arousal than warm lighting. We have also found the significant interaction effects between retail greenery application and lighting temperature and the moderating effects of shopping orientation (utilitarian/hedonic).

Feedback and Creativity in Interior Design Studio: A Case study-mixed methods of a Junior Level Light Fixture

Hoa Vo (Interior Design), Professor Abimbola Asojo

Design literature deems feedback as critical to creativity yet concerns with the mixed results. Whether creativity thrives depends on feedback content, frequency, students’ perception of feedback, and their interest in design projects. Studies to optimize feedback practices in interior design studios, however, are inadequate. This research seeks to mend the gap and improve feedback practices.

Feasibility and Acceptability of Pain Medication Tracking App

Soo Jin Kang (Design), Yao Zeng, Professor Lana Yarosh, and Dr. Luke Jakubowski 

Misuse of prescribed opioids has been risking hundreds of children’s lives: nearly seven hundred postoperative pediatric patients were killed due to opioid poisoning. Younger patients, less than 6 years of age, are even more vulnerable to this opioid poisoning. Such misuse is by large caused by the absence of ongoing guidance for parents. The parents often rely on their subjective measures to treat their child’s pain. Existing pain management tools are designed for adults, which is not applicable to pediatric opioid management. This project proposes the design of a mobile phone application that can track symptoms and pain medication to avoid their excessive use. 

History for the Future: Developing a Community Curated Public History Exhibition

Andrea Manolov (Heritage Studies and Public History), Acoma Gaither (Heritage Studies and Public History)

History for the Future aims to explore the history of mutual aid in the Twin Cities, and to ask how historical and present day mutual aid work can help us imagine radical futures of community care. As a community based public history initiative, all of the content of the exhibition was created by residents of Minneapolis and Saint Paul through a series of free public programs scheduled from October 2020 through May 2021. These public programs invite participants to reflect on their engagement with local histories of mutual aid and envision the future of their communities through a variety of print and digital mediums. The vision for the art, writing, and digital media generated through seven months of public programs is to collectively contribute to the outdoor exhibition, History for the Future. Content will be installed in exhibition panel and digital format, and will be copied in printed format for free distribution at the exhibition site. This final exhibition was placed in the open lot operated by the independent bookstore, Moon Palace Books in May 2021 in Longfellow Minneapolis.

Improving Health and Well-Being with Personalized, Pervasive Wearable Technology

Bolanle Dahunsi (Apparel Studies), Research Fellow Heidi Woelfle, Niharikha Subash (Human Factors and Ergonomics), Crystal Compton (Apparel Studies), Miles Priebe (Engineering), Robert Pettys Baker (Human Factors and Ergonomics), Assistant Professor Brad Holschuh

The University of Minnesota Provost's Grand Challenges Research Initiative is a campus-wide effort to tackle some of the largest research questions while deepening integrative research across the University. This project is currently done in collaboration with faculty across five colleges and focuses on improving the health, wellbeing, and independence of individuals with reduced capacity due to illness or advanced age. Toward this aim, our team developed a novel, smart clothing-based personalized technology integrated with multiple shape memory alloy (SMA) actuators that can be interfaced and controlled with voice-activated conversational agents to provide real-time, in-home interventions. Such interventions include warmth and compression aimed at reducing anxiety and stress. A sizing system has also been developed for 6 different compression garment sizes:  small, medium, and large for both a men’s and women’s garment fit.

Innovation in Craft: A Mixed Methods Study on Pre-cut Fabrics' Impact on Quiltmaking

Colleen Pokorny (Apparel Studies)

The purpose of this study was to develop an understanding of how the innovation of pre-cut fabrics impacted the Under 45 Quilter’s processes, quilt designs, and connections to the historical craft of quiltmaking. The effect of pre-cut fabrics on contemporary quiltmaking has been a neglected area of scholarly research. A mixed methods approach was used with multiple data sources, including interviews with 14 Under 45 Quilters, quilt photographs, five industry professional interviews, and participant observation. The study illustrated how pre-cut fabrics fit into the values and lifestyle of the Under 45 Quilter, and therefore impacted their quilt designs and connections to the historical craft of quiltmaking. The Under 45 Quilter was looking for solutions that accommodated their lives and allowed them to enjoy a creative and meaningful craft. Using pre-cuts, the Under 45 Quilter could quickly finish quilts, which helped sustain their engagement in the craft of quiltmaking. This research advanced the understanding of shifts in quiltmaking and the relationship between historical and contemporary practices of quiltmaking. This research was supported by a Craft Research Fund grant from the Center for Craft.

Make It Easy-Reliability of Automatic Measurement for 3D Hand Scanning

Md Arif-Ul-Anwar Bhuyan (Product Development), Assistant Professor Linsey Griffin

We developed a protocol that can help us to calculate and extract measurements from 3D hand scan automatically. This work will enhance the possibility of using 3D scanning in industrial level for personalized design.

Memory's Warp and Weft: Shifting Dialogues Among the Wearing of Reproduced Historical Garments, and the Communication of Memory Therein  

Caren S. Oberg (Apparel Studies)

Costumed interpretation invites interpreters and viewers to contemplate history and memory. This research explores the relationship between wearing historical clothing as an interpreter of colonial and settler period living history sites (1750–1870) and the implicit and hidden cultural memories communicated through the wearing. The research is based in the phenomenological approach and is contextualized by earlier work that emphasizes an individual's relationship with historic dress. Results reveal that embodying historical clothing shares tacit and subtle cultural memories. Stays, petticoats, and armhole construction literally recall how humans moved in the past. Interpreters discuss cultural memories about indigenous trade, antebellum enslaved labor, industrial age sweatshops, and sharecropping while describing their skirts and jackets. This research brings to light that costumes allow for memories to filter to the surface through the very act of wearing.

Smart Wearable Systems to Support and Measure Movement in Children with Mobility Impairments

Alireza Golgouneh (Human Factors and Ergonomics), Eric Beaudette (Human Factors and Ergonomics), Niharikha Subash (Human Factors and Ergonomics), Assistant Professor Brad HolschuhProfessor Lucy Dunne, and Virginia and Delaware Universities

This project focuses on the development of wearable technologies to measure and assist upper-limb mobility in children with mobility impairments. The project team will develop soft, low-profile sensing and actuating technologies that look and feel like everyday clothing. The approach relies on stitched, textile-based sensing and a hybrid approach of soft inflatable structures and shape-memory fibers to assist limb movements. Learning-based activity recognition algorithms will be developed that are robust to differences in body shape and garment-movement error. The atypical movements performed by children with mobility impairments will be recognized, enabling assessment of clinical indicators like the range of movement. The actuating component of the proposed system uses soft pneumatic structures to provide counter-gravitational (lift) forces and Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) spring-type actuators to provide directional control. 

Textile-based Wearable Contact Sensing for Functional Fit Assessment of Body-Wearable System Interactions

Crystal Compton (Apparel Studies) 

Spacesuits must provide sufficient fit and mobility for crew to successfully perform extravehicular activities (EVAs), particularly for future planetary EVAs. The quality of suit fit is influenced by complex interactions between the suit’s geometry, mechanisms, and materials and the wearer’s body geometry. Contact between the suit and the wearer’s body is a key metric that can be used to understand body-spacesuit interactions. A wearable contact sensing technology can be used to measure how contact patterns vary across wearers of different body shapes and sizes performing functional EVA postures. The objective of this research is to develop and validate a conformable, textile-based, wearable contact sensing system.

Understanding Professional Fashion Stylists' Outfit Recommendation Process: A Qualitative Study

Bolanle Dahunsi (Apparel Studies), Professor Lucy Dunne

Unused and underutilized clothing is a major contributor to the environmental impact of the apparel industry. To reduce this underutilization, we need to implement ways to maximize clothing use. Artificially intelligent decision support may help users make better purchase decisions as well as daily dressing decisions. However, learning relationships between user and garment features is challenging due to the sparsity of data and the lack of validated expert models. One way to bridge this gap and inform clothing recommender system development is to understand how professional stylists choose outfits that maximize clothing use and satisfaction of clients. The purpose of this study was to understand how professional stylists make outfit and garment decisions for clients.

From the effects of advertisements on purchasing behavior to improving the fit of surgical gloves, faculty and students from across the college are working on the forefront of design research and creative scholarship.

From redesigning patient hospital gowns to creating a greenhouse for the winter months, College of Design faculty and graduate students work on the forefront of design research.

This week Executive Vice President and Provost Karen Hanson announced the launch of phase two in the University of Minnesota’s Driving Tomorrow Initiative. The second phase of the initiative targets two of the University’s five Grand Challenges focus areas: Ensuring Clean Water and Sustainable Ecosystems and Fostering Just and Equitable Communities.