STEM Informing Design: Using Micrographs to Realize Furnishing Solutions for a STEM Outreach Exhibition

Kelland Mophett, Julie Q Zuo, Bingbing Li

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


The interior design profession is becoming increasingly collaborative to engage and expand the network of expertise in the design process (Orthel, 2015). STEAM, as one of such interdisciplinary approaches to design education, incorporates art and creativity in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) (Lorusso, 2018).<br> <br>This study examined the processes and outcomes of an interdisciplinary project for STEAM outreach through museum exhibition. Interior design students were challenged to create furnishing solutions for a relaxation zone. Students’ learning was developed through inquiry and transformation of scientific knowledge into impactful design solutions. Design Thinking (DT) played a vital role in the critical processes of creativity and innovation. A new model of STEAM-Integrated DT provides students diverse means to problem-solving through the design process.<br> <br>Skills acquired in this new DT model included: 1) pre-design studies on STEM knowledge and scientific reasoning, such as microscope technology, micrographs from laboratory studies, application of algorithmic and mathematic approaches in art and design, and ethics of scientific image editing; 2) engagement with interdisciplinary stakeholders; 3) conceptual development informed by STEM; 4) utilization of digital and prototype tools, such as 3D printing, to facilitate decision making in the schematic design process; and 5) visual and verbal presentation skills to deliver holistic furnishing solutions.<br> <br>The most significant outcome of the project was to demonstrate that STEAM-integrated DT offers students a broad perspective in viewing and solving problems. The new DT model reinforces the application of universal design and human-centered design principles through interdisciplinary collaboration.
Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - Oct 23 2021
EventEquity in STEM Symposium -
Duration: Oct 23 2021Oct 23 2021


ConferenceEquity in STEM Symposium


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