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Undergraduate Research in Interior Design

Designers are familiar with concepts such as Evidence Based Design and Research Informed Design. The idea behind these concepts is using research or evidence to support the design decisions we make. Students are instructed on using these concepts to inform their design process as they conduct research, report the findings and apply the findings to design solutions. Our undergraduate research in interior design addresses several Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) professional standard criteria. Most importantly, it focuses on Human Centered Design in which students understand theories of this design approach and then identify, analyze and apply this information in their design process.

The following student research shows that promoting and allowing students to explore Evidence Based Design and Research Informed Design is important as they explore the many pathways they can take as future designers.

Meet Our Interior Design Students



Kate Korneva: Because my interest is in commercial interior design, my advisor and I came up with a study to see how people perceived space in linear and curvilinear store layouts. We developed the two layouts as a 3D model and used virtual reality to immerse individuals into these two environments. The equipment in the Mixed Reality Lab was helpful to measure the perception of these individuals using psychophysiological equipment such as fNIR (Functional near-infrared spectroscopy) devices, which allows the measurement of brain activity through hemodynamic responses associated with neuron behavior. My research was presented at the Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC) conference as well as the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) conference, and I received the People’s Choice Award at the Coalition for Advancing Digital Research and Education (CADRE) conference.


Molly Jackson: I’m interested in improving the physical environments of others, and I believe I can do that through incorporating evidence-based design into my future projects. Noticing that I had an interest in pursuing research, my faculty advisor encouraged me to go in that direction. In my research project, I wanted to explore the inherent and extrinsic values in design students by using Verbal Protocol Analysis and fNIRs. The results of my research confirmed that design is not only creative, but by learning design strategies you can also enhance the creative design process. One of the most positive outcomes of this project was learning how research is conducted. I was also awarded the OSU Undergraduate Library Research award for my project.



Andre-Ferreira: Designing for the aging population interests me, including working on a project that could promote the health, safety and welfare of older adults by designing a specialized piece of furniture that allows older adults to move from the sitting position to the standing position while ensuring their safety and comfort. The biomechanics of the sit-to-stand activity has been widely studies and documented. Poor knee strength and the lower height of seats are threats to older individuals. During the initial phase, I interviewed older adults, furniture manufacturers, interior designers and physical therapists to evaluate the market need. The National Science Foundation (NSF) iCorps program provided funding for this project. Understanding the needs of individuals and developing furniture based on evidence was a new concept to me, and it was a very educational experience.


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