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Photo of Jung-hye Shin

Jung-hye Shin

Titles: Assistant Professor
Joined DS: 2007
Office: 3138 Nancy Nicholas Hall
Phone: 608-262-6502

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Background & Interests

Jung-hye Shin's scholarship and teaching address the dynamic relationship between people and their environment as to how people construct their environment based on their social understanding of the given place. Once constructed, this environment continues to influence the life of the people in it while they modify their places. This broad conceptual understanding of the human-environment relationship has enabled her to look into various settings including healthcare facilities, residential buildings, and workplaces.

Her past research explored how housing technology shapes and is shaped by social organizations residing in it, as well as through larger societal change, resulting in significant social and cultural change in and out of residences. She explores this theme through the 20th century evolution of the Korean heated floor, called the ondol. Rich narratives on the issues of gender, tradition, and modernity, as well as symbolic aspects of Korean residences, are explored through the context of this housing feature.

 Her research interest in the context of aging and culture continue through the exploration of the aged and their environment. She pays particular attention to the impact of cultural change due to migration and modernization on the aged and their residential environment. She explores this theme through two distinctive studies: (1) a cross-cultural analysis of institutional settings for the aged; and (2) the housing needs of immigrant elders in Chicago area.

 Her research endeavor is geared toward translation of research findings into meaningful design guidelines that can be readily used by designers and planners. This is also evident in her teaching at the graduate school level, in her classes “Research Methods in Design,” “Culture and Built Environments,” and “Post-Occupancy Evaluation,” In these classes, where both design-oriented and research-oriented students are present, she focuses on how to build a bridge between these two seemingly different professions by identifying the common ground, using each discipline’s own language. 
Her ongoing research interest includes:

  • Ethnic culture and residential environment in the context of globalization;
  • Thermal comfort and illumination; and
  • Cross-cultural comparison of housing for older adults.


Her teaching efforts are directed towards demonstrating the application of research and social theories to the study of buildings. She particularly emphasizes a broad range of methodologies and their conceptual linkage to social theories in the inquiry of building design. She also plays a central role in introducing design foundations to incoming design students.
Specific DS courses taught include:

Specific DS courses taught include:

  • DS 120: Design: Fundamentals I
  • DS 501: Culture and Built Environment
  • DS 501: Post-Occupancy Evaluation
  • DS 920: Research Methods in Design

Graduate Student Research Topics

Past thesis titles include:

  • Not available