The faculty, as a composite, have professional practice experience (Carmel-Gilfilen; Bosch; Valipoor) and academic expertise in color theory (Portillo), design history and adaptive reuse (Cunningham), environmental-behavior (Bosch), healthcare (Bosch; Carmel-Gilfilen; Valipoor), lighting and environmental technology (Park), pedagogy (Carmel-Gilfilen; Meneely; Portillo), sustainability (Park; Valipoor), and technology (Meneely).  Professor Carmel-Gilfilen and Park are LEED AP accredited; and Professor Bosch, Carmel-Gilfilen, Park and Valipoor are EDAC certified.

The faculty members have degrees in interior design, architecture, fine arts, historic preservation and psychology. All faculty remain current in their areas of expertise and are active in research, publication and presentations at national and international conferences.  Several members of the faculty have been awarded teaching and mentoring accolades. Others have served as faculty advisors for students who garnered national design awards and scholarships
Sheila Bosch, PhD
Candy Carmel-Gilfilen
Erin Cunningham, PhD
Jason Meneely
Nam-Kyu Park, PhD
Margaret Portillo, PhD
Shabboo Valipoor, PhD Bosch

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Sheila Bosch, PhD

Improving Healthcare Quality and Safety through Design: Research has demonstrated that the physical environment is an important contributor to one’s experience in healthcare settings and can be an important tool for improving patient, family, and staff wellbeing. Working with diverse collaborators, we have investigated staff perceptions regarding the benefits of single-family neonatal intensive care unit design, family presence and family-to-patient interactions in an intensive care unit designed to support patient and family-engaged care, the influence of visibility on other health-related outcomes, and how design can improve the care experience for Veterans with mental health needs.

  • Bosch, S. J., Apple, M., Hiltonen, E., Worden, E., Lu, Y., Nanda, U. & Kim, D. (2016). To see or not to see: Investigating the links between patient visibility and potential moderators affecting the patient experience. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 47:33-43. doi: 1016/j.jenvp.2016.04.013
  • Platt, L., Bosch, S. J. & Kim, D. (2017). Towards a framework for designing person-centered mental health interiors for Veterans. Journal of Interior Design, advance access publication on February 7, 2017. doi: 1111/joid.12095
  • Lu, Y., Cai, H., & Bosch, S. J. (2016). Key spatial factors influencing the perceived privacy in nursing units: An exploration study with eight nursing units in Hong Kong. Health Environments Research & Design Journal. doi: 1177/1937586716672857

Enhancing the Quality of Life for Older Adults through Design: Globally, the population of persons 65 and older is on the rise. As we age, we often experience declining physical and cognitive performance, but improving the design of the physical environment may support our ability to live safely and with dignity. Our research has challenged the use of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility requirements in situations where older adults need assistance transferring on and off of the toilet, and we have identified wayfinding strategies that can improve the travel experience for older adults.

  • Bosch, S. J., & Gharaveis, A. (2017). Flying solo: A review of the literature on wayfinding for older adults experiencing visual or cognitive decline. Applied Ergonomics, 58:327-333. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2016.07.010
  • Lorusso, L. & Bosch, S. J. (2017). Impact of multi-sensory environments on behavior for people with dementia: A systematic literature review. The Gerontologist, advance access publication on February 13, 2017. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnw168

Design to Improve Teaching and Learning Outcomes: Early research investigated the relationships between the design of K-12 educational settings on teaching and learning outcomes. Current research, funded by the American Society of Interior Designers, is investigating how mixed-use learning environments in higher education settings can best support individual and collaborative activities, as well as structured classes, with a particular focus on the millennial generation.

Additional Publications:   Carmel-Gilfilen

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Candy Carmel-Gilfilen

Candy Carmel-Gilfilen’s research is defined by interdisciplinary aspects that transverse design pedagogy, and holistic healthcare and applied security design.

Design Pedagogy and Student Development
Research in design pedagogy is guided by the Perry Scheme of Intellectual and Ethical Development which aims to identify patterns of thinking and learning that can be used to enhance classroom learning. Research to date has revealed a relationship between learner outcomes and student thought development suggesting that those with more advanced thinking generally had higher grades and greater educational experience in interior design.  Future research is focused on determining strategies to propel students to the highest levels of development which encompass ethical dimensions and life choices with commitment. These studies provide rich data that can be used as case models to enhance teaching approaches thereby creating thought leaders in design.

Holistic Healthcare and Applied Security Design
Research in applied security design has emphasized the potential of the physical environment to create secure environments via a holistic approach.

Field research with two leading big-box retailers uncovered specific strategies that marry design and security techniques including natural surveillance, access control, and strategic placement of fixtures and cash wraps. These tenants of design security have been expanded to the healthcare environment to create secure, human-centered spaces for patients, family members, and staff.  Ongoing research and creative scholarship continues in studios funded by Herman Miller.  This model informs pedagogical strategies that enhance student learning experiences and promote empathetic design within education. Further, strategies to cultivate human-centered design steeped in research and collaboration can be promoted in design education to inform, educate, and influence invested leaders in healthcare.
.   Erin Cunningham

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Erin Cunninham, PhD

Erin Cunningham, Ph.D., studies the history and preservation of the interior environment. Specific research, published in both peer reviewed and invited papers, focuses on the history and preservation of 19th and 20th century interior spaces, including social settlement houses, vernacular architecture, and public housing interiors. In both teaching and research, Erin explores interior space from a socio-historical perspective, drawing on disciplinary knowledge from interior design, historic preservation, and design history. At the University of Florida, she teaches design history and studio courses.

My investigations into preservation, history, and professionalism are shaped by my interests in interior spaces and everyday life. I write about the preservation of the Hull House Settlement – arguably the most famous settlement houses in America. In the 1960s, all but two of its 13 buildings were demolished and the remaining Hull House mansion was transformed into a house museum. The preservation of Hull House was hotly contested, and invigorated a national audience. This research forms the basis of my current book project where I emphasize the importance of everyday stakeholders – their words, ordeals and recollections – in the preservation of the interior environment. In addition to the preservation of Hull House, I also examine the historical development of interiors. In a current, interdisciplinary, project, titled “A Vernacular of Pain: The Architecture of New York’s Lower East Side,” I examine how pain was used to organize and map the spaces of New York’s Lower East Side in the 1890s. Finally, my investigations into the preservation and history of the interior environment have inspired me to questions about the nature of the interior design profession, and how the practice of design is constituted and shaped from below.

  • Cunningham, Erin. “Interiors, Histories, and the Preservation of Chicago’s Hull House Settlement.” Buildings & Landscapes: Journal of the Vernacular Architecture Forum 23, no. 2 (Fall 2016): 53-64. (open review)
  • “Ruling on the Profession: Interior Design in the Courts,” Journal of Interior Design 40 (2), 25-35 (June 2015).
  • Bringing the Past In: Narrative Inquiry and the Preservation of Historic Interiors,” In The Handbook of Interior Design, edited by Jo An Asher Thompson and Nancy Blossom, 70-94. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, 2015.
  • “Navigating the Past: What does History Offer the Discipline of Interior Design? Journal of Interior Design 39 (3), v-xii.
  • “(Re)interpreting the Hull House,” Design Thinking for Interiors, by Joy H. Dohr & Margaret Portillo. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, 2011.
  • Renovating an Industry:’ Interior Design in Times of Recession,” Interiors: Design, Architecture, Culture 1 (1-2), 91-104 (2010).
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Jason Meneely

Design strategies for enhancing creative performance in individuals, teams, and organizations.

Using technology to support creative problem solving

The application of Virtual Reality Headsets in design education and evidence-based research

Design thinking and pedagogy

  •  Portillo, M. & Meneely, J. (2015). Toward a Creative Ecology of Workplace Design. In N. Blossom and J. Asher-Thompson (eds). The Blackwell Handbook of Interior Design. UK: Blackwell Publishing. 
  • Ferguson, N. & Meneely, J. (2015). Springboards and Barriers to Creative Risk-Taking and Resolve in Undergraduate Interior Design Studios. Journal of Interior Design. 40 (4), 17-40.
  • Chung, S. & Meneely, J. (2012). Profiling Group Dynamics within Business and Design Student Teams: Relationships among Problem Solving Styles, Personality Traits, and Creative Design Performance. Journal of Interior Design. 37 (3), 23-46.
  • Meneely, J. (2010). Educating Adaptable Minds: How Diversified are the Thinking Preferences of Interior Design Students? Journal of Interior Design.35 (3), 21-32.
  • Meneely, J. & Portillo, M. (2005). The Adaptable Mind in Design: Relating Personality, Cognitive Style, and Creative Performance. Creativity Research Journal. 17 (2 & 3), 155-166.    
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Nam-Kyu Park, PhD

The overarching mission of Dr. Park’s research is to optimize well-being, health, and human behavior through the design of the built environment. Under this umbrella, her research has developed into four content areas including lighting environments, environmental design for special needs populations, effect of culture on design, and sustainable design. These interlocking themes build upon each other to holistically understand the broader spectrum of human-environment relationships within the built environment. Theories of environment-behavior and social psychology thread together in her research program, which employs a mixed methods design. Building on a human-centered approach, her lighting research has extended to study on supportive and inclusive environments, through the lens of focusing on the needs of diverse populations including immigrants, the elderly, at-risk newborns, persons with ADHD, and children through adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Luminous environments
Environmental design for special needs populations
Effect of culture on design
Environmental and social sustainability   Margaret Portillo

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Margaret Portillo, PhD

  Shabboo Valipoor

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Shabboo Valipoor, PhD

Dr. Valipoor’s research centers on understanding the role of the built environment and its integrated objects in improving or impairing both physical and psychological health. Her focus is more on healthcare facilities and environments for the elderly, where a small alteration in the physical environment can make substantial changes in lives of a vulnerable population. She is committed to evidence-based design and multidisciplinary research to address issues of safety, quality of care, and patient outcome in healing and living environments. She collaborates closely with scholars in medicine, nursing, physical therapy, engineering, and computer science. Their research findings have sought to inform policy and practice through peer-reviewed publications and national and international conferences. Her current research projects explore the ways of: decreasing patient falls in inpatient rooms, improving patient flow and managing overcrowding in emergency departments, and creating safer furniture for elderly patients.
Healthcare Design
Human Factors
Environments for the Elderly

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