- Research with Students / D+EA Presentations & Brainstormings
- Research in Schools / Observing and Photography
- Research with Children / Drawings
- Presentation of the initial results / ICWST International Conference
The results of the project depended the most on the planned milestones. According the milestones described in original Application Form, some of them were realized, some didn’t and some of them are still ongoing in the cooperation with the project collaborators.
1. Realized milestones:
- Excellent collaboration with Department of Design and Environmental Analyses (D+EA) students and professors
- Introductory presentation of the project was held on October 7, 2019 in front of D+EA students and professors (here)
- Fruitful and valuable brainstorming meetings and discussions with students (photo gallery)
- First conceptual ideas and thoughts on school furniture design (photo gallery)
- Research in schools, observing children behavior and furniture design (photo gallery)
- Research with children, workshop in school upon the name „Draw the ideal classroom“ (photo gallery)
- Initial results presented on November 15, 2019 in front of D+EA students and professors (here)
- Published and presented conference paper at International Conference on Wood Science and Technology (ICWST) in Zagreb, December 12th -13th, 2019. (here)
2. Non-realized milestones and explanations why
- Changes in the course schedule at D+EA: Professor Elliott will not be holding the Design Studio Class until spring 2021, so students didn't have any „obligations“ to participate in the project. The initial task was to find voluntary students to participate in the project.
- Exhibition in D+EA gallery: regarding absence of design Studio Course, students couldn't make models and prototypes, so exhibition is postponed.
- Visit to the company Community Playthings: The colleagues at the company couldn’t organize their time and host dr. Domljan, D+EA students and professors in the period of dr. Domljan’s project visit. The visit is postponed to the next phase of research, if possible.
- Official IRB approval for research with children: Considering that protection of child research subjects is very strict in the United States, University Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval is necessary. Dr. Domljan had to finish the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) test and apply for IRB approval. Due to IRB restrictions, the milestones were changed, so the project only included voluntary children, parents and teachers from primary schools in Central New York Public Elementary Schools and one school (Groton Elementary School, Groton NY) where principals, teachers and children already work with Cornell students and professors and have open access for research with children. The same problem with collaboration due to IRB approval was in the Museum of Science (Sciencenter) in Ithaca NY which was planned as the potential polygon in case that school will not participate. Dr. Domljan made the initial cooperation and contact with a few elementary schools and Sciencenter for the further phase of the research with the approval of the RBI. It is important to emphasize that IRB approval is still under evaluation.
3. Ongoing milestones:
- Prof. Evans and dr. Domljan are collecting information and other results regarding IRB approval for official work and research with children.
- Dr. Domljan is continuing to collect data from on-line questionnaire.
- The students are staying in contact with dr. Domljan and send ideas and concepts via e-mail.
- One of the Cornell's student is planning to come to Zagreb and continue research with dr. Domljan.
- Preparation of new article in cooperation with collaborators for publishing in one of the high indexed international scientific journals.
Conclusion / personal comments on partnership and future plans regarding the visit:
The cooperation with the Department of Design + Environmental Analysis (D+EA) at Cornell University, Ithaca NY as the Host organization was excellent, despite a few changes in the schedule occurred during the time so the project plan couldn’t be realized in total. Definitely, the two-month period was too short for all planned activities and unexpected difficulties.
The head of the D+EA, prof. Mardelle Shepley, as well the co-leader prof. Jack Elliott, collaborator prof. Gary Evans and prof. Nancy Wells were fully aware that the due to the changes in the schedule (regarding Design Studio Course) and the time needed for IRB application and it’s official approval could affect the project results. That’s why they gave all efforts to present me to graduate students, to collect voluntary students and talk to other Cornell professors about the project. They organized my presentation at DEA7100 class and were involved all the time in informing and collecting results.
Other D+EA’s professors invited me to attend their classes so I could observe other students, listen to their attitudes and collect ideas on new school concepts. One interesting experience I gathered while I visited (and experienced) DAIL (Design & Augmented Intelligence Lab, the virtual laboratory at D+EA where I discussed with dr. Saleh Kalantari about the possibility to continue the school project using virtual scenography and virtual environment. The idea is accepted, and it is only the matter of the time when this collaboration will start. The D+EA colleagues suggested and encouraged me to visit other Departments at Cornell University more connected with Educational Psychology. That’s how I met interesting and interdisciplinary oriented students and started collaboration with prof. Brian Duff and prof. Michael Goldstein who already research school educational and environmental psychology in a few Elementary Schools in Central New York State District as well in Sciencenter Ithaca.
Prof. Evans as the collaborator helped a lot with reviewing IRB application and suggestions on Environmental Psychology. Prof. Elliott offered Design Literacy Class instead Design Studio Class. Despite Literacy has more theoretically syllabus, it was more than helpful to reach the goal of understanding the usage of sustainable materials and ecologically awareness, including interdisciplinary approach.
Since IRB approval is still ongoing and as I can’t keep cornell.edu account as Visiting Scholar after November 26, 2019, prof Evans will be a contact person for collecting future IRB data.
To be concluded, all Cornell University administrative stuff and especially D+EA colleagues were more than supportive and helpful in reaching the possible results in the short two-month period I’ve spent at Cornell. I would like to visit Cornell very soon again and work with Gary, Bryan, Mike, Nancy, Saleh and all other colleagues, especially with students and Jack Elliott in Design Studio again!
I look forward to a new visit and a continuation of our ongoing collaboration.
Until then, follow the new results on this page!