Faculty and Students Present Research and Creative Scholarship
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.
This spring, members of the University got to view ongoing research at the College of Design’s annual Research and Creative Scholarship Showcase. Learn more about the projects on display in the descriptions below. Underlined titles are linked to the full research poster.
Title: Adaptive Tactile Display
Team Members: Noah Garon, Steven Goodman, Kai Johnson, Lucy E. Dunne
Wearable haptic feedback sensing systems and devices show promise as unconventional
displays in many applications, such as accessibility and wayfinding for the visually or auditorily-impaired. However, the usability and practicality of these devices in their current state is limited. One solution is to integrate the required components into comfortable, everyday garments, however, the uncertainty that the device’s haptic vibration will always be perceived by the user is a barrier to successful integration. To create a system which solves this issue, the authors have developed a combination motor and electrode system to ensure prioritization of desirable haptic motors, diverting power away from less desirable ones.
Title: Analog and Digital Learning in Graphic Design
Author: Alex Newby
The author has created a micro-controller powered tool to highlight the importance of learned observational drawing alongside physical computing. Observational drawing requires one to slow down and develop sensibilities for line quality. Tape a drawing tool to a spinning motor and watch it flail. This is a mini-drawing-machine. Minute changes to a program control the drawing tool. The viewer can appreciate line quality in a way that is out of the designer’s control, out of human control. Thus the viewer interacts with observation in a new, refreshing way. This work addresses a duality in design education: the relative importance of analog learning and digital learning. This tension is part of a larger conversation which addresses cultural expectations of technology, STEAM education, and the future of design education.
Title: Application of 4D Scanning Technology for Wearable Product Design: Partnership with Target Corporation
Team Members: Bethany Juhnke, Karolina Doran, Emily Seifert, Chris Curry, Linsey Griffin
The purpose of this study was to explore the application of the 3dMD Temporal Body System as a tool for wearable product design research. The 4D full-body system captures and generates a series of 360-degree true anatomical body models over a period of time. A pilot study was conducted to analyze the human form in motion to assist in developing theoretical models mapping the body/product relationship as it relates to functional performance and fit of wearable products. Twenty-six women, Size 18W, were recruited and scanned. Each scanning session produced between 500 and 700 3D scans to be analyzed. With this data, the researchers will examine methods to integrate new data into sizing system and product development, as well as develop theoretical models of the body/product relationship.
Title: Attention and User Experience in Virtual Reality
Author: Ehsan Naderi
Many studies focused on the impact of objective and task-oriented aspects of virtual reality. But, it is less clear how psychological states of users in the virtual environments influence the user experience with the virtual reality application. The present study investigated the relationships between attention and the user experience, as well as attention and sense of presence in virtual environments.
Title: Branded Efforts Toward Social Inclusion on Social Media
Team Members: Bo Ra Joo, Juanjuan Wu
In the marketplace, there have been underrepresented groups according to race, gender, socio-economic status, appearance, age, and sexuality. However, consumers are increasingly becoming more vocal in their demands for social inclusion. Some brands have recently started to embrace a wider range of socially excluded people as models and spokespeople. This study aims to examine the exemplars of branded efforts for social inclusion through social media and highlights the importance of making continued efforts to reach segments of the population that have been neglected in marketing efforts.
Title: Building Bridges to Design Careers for Underrepresented Youth in Minnesota
Team Members: Abimbola Asojo, Hoa Vo, Brian Kelley
Current design practices and academia lack minority representation in the U.S. For example, statistics show 50% of all black graduates of architecture programs in the U.S. come from seven American Historical Black Colleges and Universities. Studies indicate that minority and underrepresented K-12 children are seldom exposed to the opportunities design-related fields offer and are often unaware of these fields. To this end, the Building Bridges to Design Careers presentation focuses on sharing our findings from programs conducted annually at the University of Minnesota since 2013 to create a dialog on diversity and design between K-12 students, college of design students, practitioners, and scholars.
Title: Characterizing Customizable Textile-Integrated Thermal Actuators
Authors: Ellen Dupler, Nika R. Gagliardi, Sophia Utset-Ward, and Lucy E. Dunne
Smart garments that modulate active heating in everyday indoor temperatures could serve users experiencing discomfort due to a variety of thermal management medical conditions. Even healthy users could benefit from customizing thermal heating based on personal preferences. Conductive thread is sewn into flexible and comfortable fabric. Using a resistive heating approach, powering the thread serves as the active heat source. Previous work  created and tested a V1 cuff for heating the hand. Current work has improved this in a V2 design by incorporating a microcontroller control loop with thermistor feedback. Characterizing the system to be garment-independent allows future garments and soft goods to be created based on this approach, including a jacket with torso heating.
Title: A Comparative Analysis of Color Types Categorized by Fashion Advice Texts
Team Members: Nika R. Gagliardi, Heidi Woelfle, and Lucy E. Dunne
Advice on how to dress and style oneself can be found all throughout history—from sumptuary laws of the ancient worlds to suggested fashion dos and don’ts of recent decades. Yet, studies examining the validity or consistency of such advice is sorely lacking. The purpose of this study is to begin this needed examination. Given the wide and numerous styling topics to choose from, we first focus on one particularly prevalent fashion advice theme: the idea of fashioning oneself based on one’s personal colors. In this study, we will present and compare the types and methods of categorizing individuals based on their personal colors, as a precursor to future research that will assess prescriptive advice and inform the development of a smart wardrobe recommendation system.
Title: A Comparative Study of Force Sensing Between Garments and the Human Body
Team Members: Ellen Dupler, Simon Ozbek, Mary Ellen Berglund, Crystal Compton, Brad Holschuh, Lucy Dunne
In partnership with W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc., makers of GORE-Tex®, the authors are exploring new technologies for sensing forces between garments and the human body. Novel contact and pressure sensor prototypes are compared against each other using controlled mechanical testing equipment against benchmark technologies, such as force sensitive resistors (FSRs) and the Tekscan® system.
Title: Computer-Mediated Compression as a Novel Form of Remote Interaction
Team Members: Esther Foo, Walter Lee, Simon Ozbek, Nicholas Schleif, Crystal Compton, Brad Holschuh
The focus of this research is on expanding our understanding and ability to enable remote human-human interaction through the novel application of computer-mediated compression. Recent advances in compression garment technology have produced dynamic, low-mass, highly mobile, controllable compression garments (through the integration of shape memory alloy active materials) capable of interfacing wirelessly with remote users. This technology has the potential to enable new modes of interaction between users separated from one another but who seek to physically interact, including the potential to be applied in novel technologies targeted at enriching the lives of those with disabilities through remotely-activated computer-mediated devices.
Title: Creating a Textile-based Strain Rosette Pattern for Measuring Multi-directional Forces
Author: Ellen Dupler
Measuring forces on the human body is important for a variety of reasons: preventing user discomfort in functional clothing, modeling biomechanical movement for athletic training or VR development, and more. Many promising tensile (stretch) sensors are textile-based, fabricated on or within a fabric substrate. Many fabrics used for these applications are elastic knits that have their own stretch properties and preferential stretch directions. Due to the fiber content and knit structure, how an applied force propagates through the fabric is nuanced and can affect sensor performance. Using stitched piezoresistive sensors sewn into 2-way and 4-way fabric substrates, the forces and sensor performance for a given strain can be compared. By using two different sensor stitch geometries, it’s seen that the sensor performance can be manipulated to sense forces in any direction. This manipulation is key for creating a textile-based strain rosette pattern, which combines 1D sensors like these to infer 2D plane forces, like those experienced on the human body.
Title: A Decade In The Making: Studying Indoor Environmental Quality in LEED-certified Projects in Jordan
Author: Genell Ebbini
It has been ten years since the U.S. Green Building Council’s “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” (LEED) green buildings rating system was adopted as an official standard of sustainable construction in Jordan. To evaluate the impacts of the LEED certification program in 2017 the author conducted field studies of the program’s implementation. The author examined the extent of industry “buy-in” for obtaining LEED certification, conducted localized cost/benefit analyses of sustainable materials and practices, examined relevant attitudes and cultural challenges, and developed suggestions for incentives that will help to hasten Jordan’s shift toward green construction.
Astronauts experience high levels of suit stiffness when performing tasks in gas-pressurized suits, due to the inflated nature of these suits causing stiffening of the softgoods components. This stiffness is compounded when the astronaut limb and the suit joints are misaligned making astronaut fit and softgoods sizing critical in minimizing the stiffness experienced by the crew member. In this paper, we explore a novel mechanism for improving the flexibility of inflated structures, with ultimate application in gas-pressurized space suit soft good joints.
Title: The Diffusion of Information and Ads Related to Innovation on Social Media
Team Members: Bo Ra Joo, Hyunjoo Im
According to implicit personality theory, individuals who endorse entity theory believe that human traits are relatively fixed while those who endorse incremental theory believe that human traits can change substantially. These different mindsets lead people to adopt different self-enhancement strategies. We propose that when supporters of entity theory encounter a smart bracelet ad on their social media feed, they may share the post with others. In contrast, supporters of incremental theory see such an ad, they may desire to learn more about the innovation. The findings suggest that manufacturers and retailers can expect adherents of entity theory to be important consumers for word-of-mouth marketing and adherents of incremental theory to be an engaged audience with whom they can communicate directly with in-depth information.
Title: Dimensions of the Dynamic Hand: Implications for Glove Design, Fit, and Sizing
Team Members: Linsey Griffin, Robin Carufel, Nokyeon Kim, Heajoo Lee, Emily Seifert
Gloves are critical personal protective equipment to perform tasks in industries such as medicine, construction, and firefighting. To ensure wearer safety, comfort, and hand function, glove design requires detailed ergonomic and anthropometric analysis of the hand in motion. This study noted the absence of a 3D hand anthropometric database and aimed to pilot test a methodology for the creation of one that included dynamic hand positions and more comprehensive anthropometric measurements. The results from this study will inform the creation of a national anthropometric hand survey to inform evidence-based, user-centered, ergonomic glove design.
Title: DIY Letterpress Plate-making
Author: Abbey Kleinert
The author included her advanced type class in the development of a low-tech letterpress plate-making method, teaching innovation and creative thinking through DIY printmaking. The project was not only about making a creative visual but also creating a method to produce the designed object. Therefore graphic design students learned that the qualities of the visual design were closely tied to its production method, and came to better understand the relationship between designing and making.
Title: Dynamic Anthropometric Assessment of the Waist-Hip-Thigh Body Region: Sponsored Project, Kimberly Clark Corporation
Team Members: Linsey Griffin, Bethany Juhnke, Karolina Doran, Emily Seifert, Chris Curry
Dynamic anthropometric data has the ability to influence innovation at the critical intersection of ergonomics and the sizing and fit of advanced wearable products. We are developing a 3D scanning method to study dynamic anthropometry of the lower body region including landmark locations, scanning tools such as seat apparatus, body scanning postures/positions, and scanning technology. We are also developing a method of analyzing 3D scans for dynamic anthropometric assessment of waist, hip, and thigh across different scanning postures and in two clothed scenarios: wearing personal undergarments and wearing Depend® product. Results of the study will be scalable for Kimberly Clark Corporation sizing system development through the inclusion of large anthropometric databases to assist body modeling, skin morphology, and understanding of measurement change of waist, hip, and thigh across the population.
Title: Exploring Building Information Modeling (BIM) in Interior Design Studio
Team Members: Faten Yanksari, Abimbola Asojo
The Building Information Modeling (BIM) platform is a way for the architecture, engineering and construction industry to manage building data throughout a project’s life cycle from conception to construction, and through facility management. Revit is a BIM software application used to produce two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) drawings during the design process. In interior design education, limited studies focus on the influence of BIM/Revit on the design process. This study examined the influence of BIM/Revit on the design process in an interior design studio setting.
Title: A Human-Centric Approach to Electric and Daylighting in Workplace Buildings
Team Members: Abimbola Asojo, Hoa Vo, Suyeon Bae
An interdisciplinary team conducted an evidence-based analysis of occupants’ satisfaction, health, and well-being in State-funded buildings and provided suggestions for improvements using the Sustainable Post-Occupancy Evaluation Survey (SPOES). This survey identifies several indoor environmental quality categories that contribute to overall occupant satisfaction, health and well-being such as acoustic conditions, indoor air quality, personal adjustability, daylighting, and electric lighting. In this study, the impacts of daylighting and electric lighting on occupants’ satisfaction, health, and well-being was examined. Respondents reported insufficient access to daylighting and view, inadequate control of electric lighting, poor integration between daylighting and electric lighting, preference for warmer color temperature lighting to cooler fluorescent lighting and reported that the number of contrasts between daylighting and electric lighting caused eye strain and migraines.
Title: The Impact of Practitioner Feedback on Interior Design Students’ Creativity in Lighting design classes
Team Members: Abimbola Asojo, Hoa Vo
Despite being used extensively in design pedagogies, the practice of feedback in studio classrooms has not received sufficient attention. There are limited theoretical and operational guidelines to help instructors improve students’ learning outcomes using this educational method. Taking into account the complexity and diversity of feedback, the team members conducted a mixed-method study on this account within the scope of interior design education. As institutional programs connect more with professional environments, instructors are no longer the sole source of feedback in design studios. This type of feedback, together with the ones of instructors, are likely to influence students’ creative performance. Three consecutive lighting design classes at a Midwest land-grant University became the context for the team members to explore the impact of practitioner feedback on their students’ creativity.
Title: Implicit vs. explicit green advertisements: Their effects on consumers’ green trust, attitude toward the brand, and purchase intention and the moderating role of involvement
Team Members: Jacqueline Parr, Maral Abdollahi
Green advertising is used to promote environmental attributes of products and services. The way these environmental attributes are promoted can take various forms, including explicit claims and natural imagery (implicit claims). Prior research on environmental claims, found that the majority of claims were image-oriented. However, image-oriented ads have been found to be rather misleading, whereas ads that included facts were more acceptable. Exposure to natural imagery evokes emotions that are similar to the emotions that are experienced in contact with nature, referred to as virtual nature experiences. Advertisers will use natural imagery in conjunction with a product to create an association between nature and the product, which causes virtual nature experiences. This research investigates the potentially different effects of explicit and implicit green ads that feature environmentally unfriendly products.
Title: The Influence of Pattern and Color Interaction in Object-Color Preference
Author: Shuruq Nahhas
Surface design is a combination of pattern and color. Each component has its own properties that influence its appearance. Pattern properties included structure, scale and spacing, which affect its density. Color properties (attributes) included Hue, Value, and Chroma, which affect the contrast between two colors within a combination. Density and contrast interact with each other to change the appearance of the surface, which influence color preference for a specific object. A mixed method research was conducted to examine the influence of pattern density and color contrast in object color preference for a two-color combination.
Title: Jack Lenor Larsen Oral History Project
Author: Stephanie Zollinger
In 1997, upon the sale of Jack Lenor Larsen Incorporated to the London based firm Colefax and Fowler, a decision was made to donate Larsen’s entire textile archive jointly to the University of Minnesota’s Goldstein Museum of Design, the University’s Northwest Architectural Archives, and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Access to the Larsen Design Archives has underpinned the author’s scholarship focus of documenting the life and impact of textile designer Jack Lenor Larsen. The author has completed numerous studies, oral histories, and the online Jack Lenor Larsen Oral History Project, all of which clarifies Larsen’s important contribution as a technology-based craftsman, innovative designer, and successful entrepreneur. Results of archival research have been disseminated in the curating of two exhibitions, exhibition catalogs, academic presentations, peer-reviewed manuscripts, and an online oral history project.
Title: Kidney Transplant P3 [Patient Provider Partnerships]
Team Members: Sauman Chu, Marilyn Bruin, Allyson Hart
The Kidney Transplant P3 website was launched in May 2018. The website was created with input from patients with kidney disease and the doctors who care for them. It is intended to be used during the patient’s visit with the doctor as one learns about kidney transplant. The goal is to provide informative materials to help patients understand treatment options and outcomes. The authors also created a calculator to estimate a patient’s likely outcomes on the kidney transplant wait list based on the transplant regions/centers and the individual’s medical condition. The authors hope patients will find the tool and the likely outcomes helpful in explaining treatment options with their friends and family.
Title: Lighting Software Comparison and Simulations: A Tate Hall Classroom Case Study
Team Members: Mary Guzowski, Abimbola Asojo, Logan Stein
Using Tate Hall building as a case study, this presentation compares three lighting software: ElumTools for Revit, Licaso, and Diva for Rhino. Through the analysis of classroom space, our project highlights the strengths and limitations of these three lighting design tools that are used in professional practice. ElumTools is designed to calculate point-by-point illuminance on any working plane or surface utilizing lighting fixture families and surface geometry already present in the Revit model. Licaso can compute work plane illuminance for every daylit hour of every day for an entire year. From these calculations, a wide variety of annual daylight metrics can be accumulated. DIVA-for-Rhino is a highly optimized daylighting and energy modeling plug-in for the Rhinoceros – NURBS modeler.
Title: Multi-Sensor Integration for Muscle Activity Classification
Author: Walter Lee
Many existing assistive exoskeleton/prosthetic designs for aiding people with upper limb impairments are uncomfortable and unfeasible outside research environments, due to rigid hardware that limits user mobility and induce stress on the machine. A new wearable computing paradigm is needed to develop soft, textile-based wearable systems for measuring and supporting upper-limb movements, but control of such technologies still has not been integrated with comfortable and wearable signal collection interfaces. Also, most robotic exoskeletons for active mobility assistance do not effectively employ the distinction between intended joint motion and actual joint motion to feed into the actuation control algorithm. This research involves classifying different types of muscle movements with two biomechanical variables collected from wearable sensors. This information could be used to create a better exoskeleton modulation mechanism.
Title: Novel Manufacturing of Smart Garments: Knitting with Multi-Material Monofilament
Team Members: Simon Ozbek, Md. Tahmidul Islam Molla, Crystal Compton, Nicholas Schleif, Kai Johnson, Heidi Woelfle, Brad Holschuch
In this paper, we propose a novel method for knitting advanced smart garments (e.g., garments with targeted electrical or mechanical properties) using a single, spatially varying, multi-material monofilament created using additive manufacturing techniques. By strategically varying the constitutive functional materials that comprise the monofilament along its length, it is theoretically possible to create targeted functional regions within the knitted structure. If spaced properly, functional regions naturally emerge in the knit as loops in adjacent rows align. To test the feasibility of this method, we evaluated the ability of a commercially available knitting machine to knit a variety of experimental and commercially available, spatially-variant monofilament.
Title: A Novel Orthostatic Intolerance (OIG) Garment Designed with Active-Contracting Fabrics
Team Members: Rachael Granberry, Brad Holschuh, Julianna Abel, Amy Ross, Santo Padula, Kevin Eschen
Shape memory alloy knitted actuators for medical compression garment applications is research funded by a NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship. This work identifies the actuation force potential of contractile SMA knitted actuators to determine the medical compression benefit they could provide. By combining fabric characterization with anthropometric analysis, the analysis offers compelling evidence to further optimize fabrics for on-body therapeutic use.
Title: A Post-Occupancy Evaluation Study about Indoor Environmental Quality Satisfaction and Learning Experience in Classroom Buildings
Team Members: Abimbola Asojo, Suyeon Bae, Caren Martin
The Sustainable Post-Occupancy Evaluation Survey (SPOES) consists of a self-administered, Internet-based, questionnaire completed by building occupants in State-funded buildings. Responses from students of nine classroom buildings were analyzed to investigate their perception of several indoor environmental quality categories that contribute to overall occupant satisfaction, health, and well-being. The results show that students were most satisfied with cleaning and maintenance followed by vibration and movement and indoor air quality. The results also indicated that the students who were satisfied with the view conditions were more likely to say that their learning experience was enhanced by the physical environment. Likewise, students who were satisfied with technology were more likely to indicate that the physical environment enhanced their learning experience.
Title: The Price of Homelessness
Author: Gabrielle Clowdus
For the past two decades, our society has taken a ‘Housing First’ approach to homelessness. While this has been an important step forward, housing alone only solves houselessness. Research shows that the vast majority of people experiencing homelessness come from broken homes and have experienced significant adverse childhood experiences. These adverse circumstances limit people from participating meaningfully in society resulting in the profound and catastrophic loss of community. A social problem requires a social solution. A ‘Community First’ approach to homelessness reconnects the homeless with self, family, and community. We propose implementing this approach through ‘Sustainable Settlements’ on available religious property, providing free, tax-exempt land protected by the Religious Land Use Act.
Title: Process Considerations in 3D Hand Anthropometric Data Collection
Team Members: Linsey Griffin, Susan Sokolowski, Emily Seifert
The purpose of this research was to develop a process and special considerations for 3D hand scanning that could help guide future researchers when conducting more robust 3D anthropometric studies for the hand, as related to product design. As technology improves, our processes for collecting data need to adapt. New 3D scanning technology enables a more robust collection of anthropometric, ergonomic, and design data for the hand. Future 3D hand anthropometric data and design research will have a profound impact on the future glove and tool design for a range of fields and consumers.
Title: Purchase Intention for Luxury Wellness Brands: Assessing the Predictive Value of Brand Awareness versus Brand Attachment
Team Members: Jennifer Huh, Hye-Young Kim
This study is designed to investigate how brand awareness (cognitive) and brand attachment (relational) are interrelated and contribute to purchase intention for luxury wellness brands.
Title: Repositioning Luxury Fashion Brands as Intentional Agents on Social Media
Team Members: Bo Ra Joo, Hye-Young Kim
While luxury fashion brands traditionally maintain exclusivity for wealthy consumers, their images on social media portray themselves as “good citizen” brands with such qualities as openness, sociability, and social responsibility. This “populist” communication strategy reflects the underlying mechanism of social media marketing implemented by luxury fashion brands. This study aims to demonstrate the effectiveness of social media marketing as a tool to communicate a brand’s good intentions toward the general public. Drawing on a conceptual framework defining brands as intentional agents, this study also examines whether luxury fashion brands can also become admired and generate positive relational outcomes with the general public. By continually showing good intentions toward the general public, luxury fashion brands can reposition themselves as admired brands and enhance emotional brand attachment and forgiveness.
Title: The Role of Moral Foundations and Local-global Identity in Ethical Consumption Behaviors
Team Members: Hyunjoo Im, Jacqueline Parr
The current study developed and tested a model of ethical purchase behaviors. Building on the Moral Foundations Theory, we proposed that universal moral values, which inform individuals’ global/local identity, predict individuals’ ethical purchases. The empirical testing of the model (N=362) confirmed the hypotheses. Individualizing foundations and binding foundations differently affected local and global identity. These identities, together with subjective knowledge, predicted green and local purchase behaviors. The study contributes to ethical consumption literature and Moral Foundation Theory literature by providing a systematic model to explain ethical purchase behaviors based on human moral values.
Title: The Role of Plot Diversity in Consumer-Character-Brand Relationship Building
Team Members: Heejin Lim, Hyunjoo Im
As digital storytelling becomes more common and essential for fashion brands to converse and interact with consumers, brands such as Chanel and Kate Spade have launched a series of online videos that portray a single character in various situations. While previous studies on characters have documented favorable effects of characters on brands’ relationships with consumers, most relied on the character traits to explain the effects. In storytelling, plots are very important elements because they can increase emotional experiences, bolster positive attitudes towards advertisements, and increase mental imagery, yet little is known about the effects of their diversity. Therefore, the purpose of the online experiment study was to investigate the role of plot diversity in consumer-character-brand relationship building.
Title: Roseau River Water Trail
Team Members: Virajita Singh, Miranda Olson
The Roseau River is a 214-mile-long tributary of the Red River of the North, in southern Manitoba in Canada and northwestern Minnesota in the United States. The Roseau River Water Trail Masterplan proposes designs for six sites that were selected along the Roseau River that are significant in terms of access and use. These sites are Hayes Lake State Park, Malung Town Hall, City Park, City Center, Stoe’s Bridge, and Ross Town Hall. The water trail aims to: 1. Capitalize on what the Roseau River offers. 2. Utilize the Roseau River for educational opportunities. 3. Ensure the water trail plan is sustainable by utilizing low maintenance structures and working with local groups for long-term upkeep.
Title: Serious Pervasive Games as Design Tools
Author: Malini Srivastava
This project focuses on the area of Serious Pervasive Games as design tools to address the energy efficiency gap, game mapping, and responsive high-performance building envelopes. Selected works include the award-winning “efargo” project carried out under the author’s leadership in collaboration with the City of Fargo, community and university partnerships, and local energy utilities.
Title: Smart Wearable Ankle Brace
Team Members: Alireza Golgouneh, Md. Tahmidul Islam Molla, Lucy Dunne, Brad Holschuh
The objective of this project is to develop a smart ankle brace, which is targeted at rehabilitation of ankle sprain injuries outside clinical settings. The brace will afford sensing of joint/muscle movements and swelling, as well as dynamic compression to aid recovery. The UMN emphasis is on soft strain sensing and Shape-Memory Alloy (SMA) actuation. This project also involves developing inertial and EMG sensing capabilities, supporting hardware, and the assessment algorithm and user interface which monitors and controls swelling, senses ankle motion dynamics, and collects user-defined pain level.
Title: Smart Wearable Systems to Support and Measure Movement in Children with Mobility Impairments
Team Members: Esther Foo, Walter Lee, Alireza Golgouneh, Ellen Dupler, Heidi Woelfle, Noah Garon, Mark Jones, Tom Martin, Michelle Lobo, Brad Holschuh, Lucy Dunne
In early childhood, upper extremity mobility impairment impedes not only the physical but also the cognitive and language development of the impacted child, as the capacity to gather information through exploratory behavior is severely inhibited. Through this multi-site collaboration project, we seek to develop a wearable system with closed-loop sensing and actuation capabilities to track and aid upper limb mobility in children. Current work at the UMN Wearable Technology Lab involves (a) demonstrating the use of shape memory alloy actuators for achieving desired biomechanical joint manipulations, and (b) using textile-based stretch sensors for detecting joint-movement characteristics for developing a feedback and control system.
Title: Social Well-being: Building Social Capacities through Sustainable and Affordable Housing in Jordan
Author: Genell Ebbini
Over the past decades, the standard of living and social well-being have declined significantly in the Middle East. Direct causes include regional conflicts, inflation, economic stagnation, low wages, migration, and displaced refugees. The effects are measurable, shifting generations of the population into poverty without the ability to improve their livelihoods resulting in reduced social well-being. The objective of this study was to investigate social well-being by examining the housing situation in Jordan. The study focused on affordable housing from multidimensional and cross-sectoral perspectives where attainability, sustainability, culture, and social equity become the subjects of social well-being.
Title: Social Media Influencer Effect on Advertising Effectiveness
Author: Do Yuon Kim, Hye-Young Kim
An influencer is an individual who can impact the potential customers of a brand/product by assisting marketing activities. As social media provide a network to reach a large population of consumers in a short time, influencer marketing has become prominent. It is imperative for brand managers to relay their marketing messages to the right influencers for their brands/products. This study attempts to understand the effect of social media influencer type on advertising effectiveness and examine the moderating role of consumer social comparison orientation.
Title: Southwest Hmong Community Center: Tsev Nqeeb on the Prairie
Team Members: Virajita Singh, Xin Chang
The project focused on a site with existing buildings in the city of Tracy, Minnesota and developed a master plan that meets community needs, including a community gathering space, a cultural museum, a renovated greenhouse, a new cold climate winter greenhouse, and areas for food growing and community gardens. Areas of focus include: provide the Hmong community of the region spaces to preserve, celebrate and practice traditions; design a place that the Hmong community can use for education, entertainment, exercise, and farming; create a place that introduces Hmong culture and art to the public and promotes youth awareness of Hmong culture, tradition, and history; create a place that invites cross-cultural interaction and use by the larger Tracy community.
Title: Surface-Mount Fabrication of Stitched E-Textile Circuits for Garment-Integrated Technologies
Author: Md. Tahmidul Islam Molla, Crystal Compton, Nicholas Schleif, Mary Ellen Berglund, Steven Goodman, Cade Zacharias, Lucy E. Dunne
Durable, reliable, and scalable fabrication of garment-integrated technologies are the major barriers to large-scale applications for wearable technology. While integrating electronic circuits into clothing has several benefits, fabricating stiff and rough electronics on substrates as flexible and complex as textiles remains difficult. The Wearable Technology Lab has developed a manufacturing method for electronic-textiles where traces and interconnects are stitched to a textile substrate, and surface-mount components are populated using reflow soldering processes. Stitched method of electronic-textiles fabrication offers durability and flexibility benefits, as well as relatively un-constrained layout patterns. The method leverages both the benefits of the traditional labor-intensive apparel industry and the automated electronics industry. This will lower the barrier-to-entry to wearable technologies while maintaining the comfort and aesthetics of the garment-integrated architectures.
Title: A User-Centered Approach for New Firefighter PPE Development
Team Members: Linsey Griffin, Susan Sokolowski, Chris Curry, Emily Seifert
Through a partnership with the 2018 International Association of Women in Fire & Emergency Services conference directors, the researchers adopted a user-centered approach to understand the equipment needs of female firefighters. A protocol was developed to collect 3D scans of the hands and feet, along with 1:1 interviews, where female firefighter attendees shared information about their experience as firefighters and practice of using turnout gear. Currently, the 3D scan data is being measured and interview data is being coded for analysis. This year, the research team plans to continue their research at local fire stations around the country.
Title: Using Natural Hand Positions to Improve Anthropometric Product Design Data
Team Members: Emily Seifert, Chris Curry, Linsey Griffin
Tools for healthcare professionals are typically designed using male anthropometric data taken from one position using tape measures and calipers. The problem with this approach is that humans are rarely in these positions when carrying out everyday tasks, and hand measurements and form change with movement. This research develops a new method of capturing dynamic hand anthropometry through the use of 3D scanners, to address traditional anthropometric hand data’s limitation. Understanding dimensional change in select areas of the hand is essential to developing more ergonomic, better fitting products for surgeons and medical professionals. This pilot study demonstrated the feasibility of using functional hand grasps as a basis for collecting hand anthropometric data using a 3D scanner.
Title: What is the Future of Residential Streets?
Team Members: Joe Favour, Vincent deBritto, Saunna Berg
With the looming advent of autonomous transportation systems, will there be a need for a large continuously paved street in residential areas in the future? This project was undertaken in partnership with a group of Minneapolis residents who want to remove the street in their block as a pilot project. The research explores the precedent projects and environmental, social, and health benefits that are possible if the paved street is removed. From this research, the authors hope to speculate on how the residential street could change from a place for vehicles to an urban landscape supportive of the social, ecological, and functional needs of the adjacent residents.
Title: VR Book Club
Team Members: Lin Nelson Mayson, Marilyn Bruin, Sauman Chu, Genell Ebbini, Ehsan Naderi, Juanjuan Wu
By 2030, one in four Minnesota residents will be over 65. Although lifespans have increased, most elders face reduced mobility and fragile well-being. The Digital Engagement Collaborative will develop accessible virtual reality (VR) experiences of GMD exhibitions as a social activity for elders. By introducing VR through user-centered instruction and guided discussions, the program will bring learning experiences to users in a realistic setting and reduce the mobility barrier. The collaborative will examine the role of “experience design” on aging and well-being. Expanding on research that supports long-term wellness benefits of individual VR experiences, this program adds the social aspect of a museum visit to learn from elders’ technologically facilitated encounters.
Title: Zanzibar Stone Town Public Squares Study
Author: Arthur Chen
The first study of the African Swahili culture of urban space, this urban heritage research project focuses on the public squares in Zanzibar. The project entails a general survey, topological analysis, and a summary of everyday uses of urban squares.