Two accomplished scholars and designers will join SoHE’s Interior Architecture faculty as assistant professors in the 2020-21 academic year. Dr. Uchita Vaid, currently of Cornell University’s School of Human Ecology, where she earns her PhD this May, will join SoHE in January 2021. Dr. Nastaran Shishegar, currently of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, also earning her PhD this May, will join SoHE in fall 2020.
Vaid researches the psycho-social consequences on people’s health and well-being of housing environments in slums, and her dissertation focused on such settlements in India. Her dissertation research a finalist for a Mellon International Dissertation Research Fellowship resulted in three journal articles—one published in Environment and Behavior, and two under review with American Journal of Public Health and Cities (a fourth manuscript is in progress). Before pursuing her PhD, she was a practicing interior designer at a leading design firm in India, where she created human-centric retail environments, provided design strategy, and developed a range of brand experiences, ultimately inspiring her to think critically about the role of design in health and well-being through human-centered design processes.
Shishegar specializes in human-centered sustainability, lighting, and gerontology, and she has a keen interest in smart technologies in design. Her dissertation focused on programmed tuning of ambient illuminations on sleep quality, mood, and cognitive functions in older adults, for which she received two supporting grants from the Jim H. McClung Lighting Research Foundation. As an architect with five years’ design experience and fifteen completed projects in lighting, interior, and architecture, She has published in numerous journals, including Energy and Buildings, Sleep Medicine, Innovation in Aging, and the International Journal of Constructed Environment, and presented at the Cognitive Aging Conference and the Geriatric Society of America Annual Scientific Meeting, with her work cited over 150 times globally.