Research interest: Karen is researching the textile, fiber, and craft contributions and techniques of enslaved and free African American weavers before the Great Migration.
Research interest: Product innovation and human-centered design systems applied to improving quality of life; including the areas of maternal and infant health, food security, accessibility, and climate change.
A New Orleans native, LaShana draws inspiration from the architecture, music, food, and the melding of French, Spanish, and Caribbean cultures that are integral to her home city. She earned her B.A. from Xavier University and her MBA from Meredith College. She and her husband, David, have 2 children, Victoria and David III.
Research interest: Solving the issue of access to distributors and end-users who may routinely bulk purchase wearables designed for the masses by design entrepreneurs and artisans.
Teresa Buckwalter, PLA
Research Interests: Teresa’s research interests include how to adapt urban design and community engagement for rural areas and small towns.
Lee Cherry, ABD
Bio: Lee has software development & project management experience as a technical producer, interactive designer and information architect. He has designed large-scale media projects that leverage technology, user experience design and information graphics for such companies as AmericanExpress, Accipiter, Böwe Bell & Howell, GlaxoSmithKline, Grant Hill Ventures, IBM, NBC Sports and USTA. He has a BA in Industrial Design from the College of Design and a MBA in Innovation Management from the Poole College of Management. Currently Lee manages and supports the research efforts within the Experience Design Lab and facilitates daily activities within the Information Technology Lab at the College of Design.
Research Interests: Researching areas of Explainable AI and Understandable AI, Computer Vision, Natural Language Processing, IoT, Big Data and Data Visualizations; examining the impact of close interactions between people and emerging technology by determining how empathy, trust and decision making processes are influenced when working with systems/frameworks that integrate and leverage intelligent agents such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.
Research interest: Keith’s research goal is to articulate and frame urban displacement and informal communities as a political form of extensive governmental apparatus to serve the displaced and self-governance of the unsheltered. The emergence of these atypical urban forms explicitly embodies human values and urban relations within the shifting environmental and socio-cultural contexts.
Before accepting a position at North Carolina State University she was a Senior Landscape Designer at OLIN in Philadelphia where she worked on a variety of project types encompassing urban design, master planning and public gardens. Her passion in teaching is focused on digital representation, construction methods and ecological issues related to sustainable design, urban agriculture, stormwater management, and brownfield redevelopment. Carla is also the mother of two boys, who love to play in the landscapes she has designed.
Research area of interest: I want to research tactical, computer visualization tools which create immersive environments and identify best practices in sustainable design.
Since earning her Master’s from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2009, Melissa has worked with organizations of all sizes – from global nonprofits to new startups. Her most meaningful projects included those where she designed for survivors of interpersonal violence, sex trafficking, and substance abuse disorders.
Research area of interest: Melissa will study how designers can conduct research and make products with care to better serve survivors of trauma.
Research Interest: Interested in exploring how, across multiple disciplines, design processes can be used to better define complex, adaptive problems. By their nature, these problems are hard to define due to asymmetry of information, power and semantic disposition of multiple stakeholders. Kevin aims to understand the power of design in better addressing these kinds of problems.
Research interest: Elysé’s research works to understand and further define the use of empathy in the design process to achieve intersectional design solutions that bring design justice and work towards decolonizing design.
Astrid Sri Haryati
Research interest: Building a new language of context-sensitive design thinking and solution for regional transportation infrastructure and community development initiative in Indonesia.
Justin Johnson, ABD
Research interests: Justin has interest in environmental design for games, and how it affects a user’s experience. He is also interested in how the aesthetic qualities can influence decision making inside and outside of games, using VR as an additional layer of immersion.
Research interest: Soyeon’s research interests focus on interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches between technology and environmental design.
Will currently serves as Vice President of Research and Development at Avenues: The World School, where he leads a team tasked with conducting research in education and the learning sciences, development of new educational curricula, programming, and technologies, and the architecture and design of new campuses around the world.
Research interest: Will’s research interest is the development of a semiotics-information design framework for communication with alien intelligences, both terrestrial (non-human and future human) and extraterrestrial.
Shruthi Manjula Balakrishna
Research interest: Shruthi is investigating the influence of design on consumption patterns during and post crisis, through theory and empirical evidence from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Research interest: Chris is interested in methods for dealing with complex systems in design. He is also interested in emerging design tools & tech, specifically, ethics related to these tools, including: Ai, Bioengineering, VR/MR, and connected (IoT) devices.
Joseph 'Joe' M. Moore, II
Research interest: In the wake of the Big 3 industries (textiles, tobacco, furniture) leaving North Carolina, Joe is interested in finding out how the towns designed to facilitate those industries re-design themselves to facilitate a new economy.
Research interest: Lexi’s research interests focus on how designers working in fast-paced environments can emphasize ethical-centered design throughout the design process to reduce harmful consequences in tech products.
Research interest: Iyare has an interest in designing a fully-funded production cohort for underrepresented animators and game designers. He aims to demonstrate how inclusivity within this industry may improve ingenuity, race relations, and artistic expression.
Research Interest: Promotion of regional food systems as a programmatic driver for regional community and economic development. The basic question is; “what can design offer this process and what would it look like in our region”?
She currently works at Emory University where she is a founding member of the AppHatchery, an initiative within the Georgia Clinical and Translational Science Alliance that creates patient-centered mobile apps for clinical study. Maren holds a BFA in Graphic Design from Georgia State University and an MBA in Marketing from Baruch College in New York City.
AJ Polanco, ABD
AJ currently works at Educational Testing Services, and his claim to fame is his ability to design in real-time. He loves to teach, learn alongside others, and ask a ton of questions. Other likes include video games, martial arts, and problem-solving.
Favorite Quote: “It’s not who you know– It’s who knows you!” – Unknown
Research Interest: My research area of interest is in new synchronous learning models to both: (1) increase the desirability of Continuing Ed; especially design education, (2) create new business models for education.
Research interests: My research interest centers on Black culture and aesthetics, and seeks to investigate non-canonical methods and ideologies found outside of the mainstream graphic design canon.
Anne Spafford, ABD
Research interests: Anne’s interest is piqued by the efficacy of therapeutic landscapes, and how landscapes can be tailored better for specific population groups. She is also passionate about researching landscapes that improve mental health.
Jana recently finished a year and a half research position at the Machine Learning for Language at NYU where she helped develop benchmarking data sets for large language models while finishing her master’s degree in UX design at the Maryland Institute College of Art. She was one of seven finalists in the UP/Start Venture Competition for her project Mira, a personalized avatar for aiding individuals with their day-to-day well-being.
In her rare spare time, Jana enjoys hiking and foraging wild foods in the Pacific Northwest and creating aural art pieces with AI.
Research interests: Jana’s recent research has focused on interaction with intelligent agents, benchmarking for large language models, and reimagining human experiences with non-human life in light of climate change. In the program at NC State, she will continue her work on digital explorations of climate change, the environment and language in the post-anthropocene.
Juhann Waller, ABD
Jonathan Williams, ABD
Research Interests: Jonathan is interested in researching how objects of material culture are integrated into learning environments and how technology may mediate their integration.