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Elham Morshedzadeh, Ph.D., IDSA

Assistant Professor, University of Houston

Elham Morshedzadeh, Ph.D., IDSA

I am an industrial designer, usability researcher, and educator who has taught undergraduate design courses internationally and in the U.S. My research focuses on healthcare and telehealth design, community-centered design, and usability research. Currently, I contributed on several transdisciplinary, healthcare-related research and design projects, some funded by the NIH. Prior to teaching, I spent 10 years as an industrial designer as lead designer on a range of high-profile projects working with teams of engineers, anthropologists, and architects. I bring this industry experience into the classroom by emphasizing the importance of experiential, evidence-based decision-making in participatory design
and research.

Design Studio and Community Empowerment

Education Symposium

Rapid Fire Group E

August 25, 2023

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Breakout - Plymouth

Interdisciplinary teaching has been a common practice in Industrial Design (ID) programs, and many of the projects being applied in ID studios or courses are sponsored by or in collaboration with external entities. In addition, user-centered design has made stakeholder engagement an undivided part of the design process. Therefore, many interdisciplinary projects that collaborate with non-design stakeholders require engagement with communities involved in the project. This study investigates the relationships among the
interdisciplinary project-based courses, the related communities, and student learning outcomes. Also, we are looking into the challenges that the faculty (especially ID faculty and programs) face in designing, creating, conducting, managing, and maintaining such projects in relation to collaborative efforts with the community. This study is a Work in Progress (WIP) and includes some data collected through qualitative and quantitative methods, including surveys and interviews. Faculty, community representatives (selected and connected through some interdisciplinary project-based studios), and students are the main participants of this research study.

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