Luis Mejia-Puig

Department of Interior Design
Assistant Professor
(352) 294-1431
ARCH 136

Areas of Research

The idea of delineating curricular advances in design education practices guides my research. I am interested in exploring how new digital media tools can positively affect the design process. The design process is an excellent example of creative thinking used to solve wicked problems present in all Social Sciences. Since the 1960s, research has focused on how the design process unfolds and the influence that traditional design tools have in that process. Physical manipulations through sketching and model making are critical elements in moving the design process forward. However, new digital tools are displacing these practices, and current design students are shifting their approach. This shift opens a gap, and the way we teach design must adapt to this new reality. To address this gap, I have focused my research on cognitive load theory. Through the combination of psychometric and physiological tools, I can analyze cognitive demand and cognitive workload quantitatively. Moreover, this approach transcends the boundaries of the design discipline and opens opportunities for multidisciplinary research.

What I Teach

I believe learning is a never-ending process, and as individuals, we should continue to learn for our whole lives. Like learning, design activity is a never-ending process where a designer’s final idea will be the starting point for another design. In my class, students will develop design proposals through collaborative teamwork. This approach allows students to experience firsthand the iterative aspect of design, the relevance of team collaboration, and understand design solutions as live outcomes to reimagine repeatedly. My teaching expertise of more than fifteen years with undergraduate design students relies on studio techniques. I believe design students learn through direct manipulation and master-apprentice guidance. At UF, I intend to enlighten students through my studio courses and mixed reality digital tools. Moreover, I hope my expertise in product development and background as an industrial designer can give Interior Design students a different approach to the design process.

My Educational Background

Originally from Colombia, I am an Industrial Designer with a Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University in Design, Housing and Merchandising, and a master’s degree in Design and Product Development in Barcelona, Spain. I have broad teaching experience with undergraduate|graduate design students, and over ten of those years, I was Head for the Industrial Design Program at a Colombian university. To fulfill my education and widen my professional development, I have moved from Colombia in South America to Spain in Europe and now to the United States. I believe my international background has been critical to developing my aesthetic sensibility and multicultural understanding. Like any discipline with high symbolic and interpretative attributes, design discipline is about exploring perspectives and re-shaping the world.

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