Megan Strickfaden, PhD

Professor, Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sci - Human Ecology Dept

Contact

Professor, Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sci - Human Ecology Dept
Email
megan.strickfaden@ualberta.ca
Address
326 Human Ecology Building
8905 - 116 St NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2N1

Overview

About

I am a design anthropologist who focuses on complicated problem solving through design environments and products for older adults, caregivers, and persons with disabilities. I have carried out extensive anthropological research and fieldwork in the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK, Canada and China but have interests in other places as well. My areas of specific concern cover, but are not confined to, unpacking challenging problems such as designing specialized systems and networks with many stakeholders. I am interested in understand human-object and human-environment relations, especially within the context of challenging social issues. 

I have taught and done research at MacEwan University (Edmonton), Edinburgh Napier University (Scotland), Edinburgh College of Art: The University of Edinburgh (Scotland), KU Leuven (Belgium), University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign (USA), Hasselt University (Belgium). I hold a PhD in Design Studies, Arts & Social Sciences from Edinburgh Napier University, an Engineering Diploma in Design Research from Danmarks Tekniske Universitet and an MDes in Industrial Design from the University of Alberta. Since 2009, I have been at the department of Human Ecology and I currently hold a position as an adjunct guest professor in the Faculty of Arts and Architecture at Hasselt University I have received <50 grants and awards for research, fellowship, teaching, travel, and designing. Recently I was awarded with ALES Teacher of the Year (2013, 2015), the Award of Excellence in Education, Premier’s Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities, Government of Alberta (2016), and the University of Alberta Great Supervisor Award (2018). 




Research

For further information about my research, publications, teaching interests, and graduate supervision opportunities please see my Website, Linkedin, Facebook, Vimeo, Instagram and Research on Aging, Policies and Practice.


Teaching

HECOL 250 Design Studies and Practice

HECOL 469/569 Material Culture in Practice

HECOL 661 Perspectives on Material Culture

disAbility Mundus doctoral school-ALTER European Society for Disability Research (annually in the summer in various European locations) 


Current Students

Lara Pinchbeck (PhD) Designing with/for Invisible disAbilities

Carolina Amaral (MA) Historical Clothing in Museums

Jessica Kennedy (MA) Slow Fashion

Malcolm Stielow (MA) Making of Craft

Jill Thomson (MA) Documenting Urban Gardening and Neighborhoods

Alexis De Villa (MA) Fashion and Philipinix Diaspora

Orsolya Welch (MA) Care Design


Completed Students

William Semple (PhD 2020) Decolonizing Architecture: Stories from the Canadian North-Supervised with Gavin Renwick 

Carlos Fiorentino (PhD 2020) StrC-Rich Prospect Taxonomy on Structural Design: A Tool for Research to Connect Scientific Knowledge on Nature and Biomimetic Design Innovation-Supervised with Anne Bissonnette

Hui (Tori) Ren (PhD 2020) Architectural Lifeworld: Exploring Meanings of Spatial Environments for Residents in Dementia Care-Supervised with Janet Fast

Vanessa Zembal (MA 2018) Living in a Winter City: Exploring Materiality, Design, Planning, & Governance in the Resurgence of Winter City Planning-Supervised with Kristof van Assche

Adolfo Ruiz (PhD 2018) Tracing Memories: Collaborative Research in the Tilcho Region-Supervised with Gavin Renwick

Linda Marie Johnson (MA 2018) Cultivating Home: Our Home for all Ages and Stages of Life

Sandra Tullio-Pow (PhD 2016) Mapping the Clothing Taskscape: Apparel Needs in Rehabilitation Therapy

Janice Rieger (PhD 2016) Doing Dis/ordered Mapping/s: Embodying Disability in the Museum Environment

Nicole Gaudet (MSc 2015) Dementia Care by Design

Lara Pinchbeck (MA 2014) With Disabilities, Living

Sihong Yu (MSc 2013) Design & Evaluation of Workwear for Protection Against Steam & Hot Water

Indu Sunder (MA 2013) Evaluation & Testing of Seams on Clothing Designed for the Protection against Steam Burns

Afrin Biswas (MA 2013) Characterization of Disability within the Design Process

Lesley Stafiniak (MA 2013) How Inspirational Sources are Adapted Towards Surface Designs


External Committee Member

Alison A. Grittner (PhD in progress) Co-Creating Spatial Justice with Canadian Sex Workers: A Feminist Design Ethnography of Sex Workplaces in Calgary, AB-Supervised by Christine Walsh Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary (Canada)

Gnanaharsha Beligatumulle (PhD in progress) A Phenomenographic Study of Design Thinking Pedagogy in the Higher Education Context-Supervised by Janice Rieger, Queensland University of Technology (Australia)

Naureen Mumtaz (PhD 2019) Towards a Pedagogy of Intercultural Understanding: Participatory Design Research with Urban Indigenous and Newcomer Immigrant Youth-Supervised by Diane Conrad, Department of Art & Design and Department of Secondary Education, University of Alberta (Canada)

Elke Ielegems (PhD 2018) Designers’ Knowledge Building in (Universal) Design Processes-Supervised by Jasmien Herssens & Jan Vanrie, Hasselt University (Belgium)

Jori De Coster (PhD 2017) Disability as an Emerging Global Identity: Challenges and Opportunities to Enable the Future-Supervised by Patrick Devlieger, KU Leuven (Belgium)

Sheila Schneider (MFA 2014) Exploring Inclusion and Accessibility: The Design Process as a User/Expert-Supervised by Kevin Reader & Deana McDonagh, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (USA)


Announcements

Courses

HECOL 250 - Design Studies and Practices

Explores the production of designed things as material culture from a human ecological perspective. Theories and practices of object production focus on design processes including visualization, communication, inspiration/influence, and interface in the context of two-and three-dimensional design. Students learn theories during lectures and apply these in hands-on design projects in the studio.

Fall Term 2021
HECOL 469 - Material Culture in Practice

Explores how human ecological and material culture approaches contribute to the analysis of a range of contemporary issues in design practice. Prerequisite: *60

Winter Term 2022
HECOL 490 - Independent Investigation in Human Ecology

Independent project or study of a topic in human ecology planned by the student with an instructor. Open to human ecology students only. Prerequisite: successful completion of *75, application to Department, and consent of Instructor.

Fall Term 2021
HECOL 569 - Material Culture in Practice

Explores how human ecological and material culture approaches contribute to the analysis of a range of contemporary issues in design practice. Not to be taken if credit received for HECOL 469.

Winter Term 2022
HECOL 661 - Perspectives on Material Culture and Design Studies

A critical analysis of specific issues, theories, and perspectives that influence material culture and design studies, as fields of research and practice. This course looks into designed things, from clothing to urban environments, and is focused on supporting students as they explore issues and develop theories connected to their research.

Winter Term 2022

Browse more courses taught by Megan Strickfaden

Scholarly Activities

Research - Brain Games - Illustrated Film (2018)

Co-created inter-generationally with residents living at Copper Sky, researched by Dr. Strickfaden and her team at the University of Alberta, and funded by AGE-WELL, this film shows four techniques using household objects to help people rehabilitate from a stroke.

Brain Games
Research - Dementia Care by Design - Ethnographic Film (2015)

This 33 minute film documents de Hogweyk village in Weesp, the Netherlands. It is directed and produced by Nicole Gaudet and Megan Strickfaden. Should you wish to view the complete film please contact me.

Dementia Care by Design
Research - Farm in the City - Illustrated Film (2018)

Co-created inter-generationally with residents living at the Ashbourne, researched by Dr. Strickfaden and her team at the University of Alberta, and funded by AGE-WELL, this film shows the power of individual history for people with moderate dementia.

Farm in the City
Research - Light in the Borderlands - Ethnographic Film (2012)

This short film is filmed by three people who are legally blind. It highlights urban interior spaces showing various perspectives on what it's like to be blind. Directed and produced by Adolfo Ruiz and Megan Strickfaden.

Light in the Borderlands
Research - Musical Notes - Illustrated Film (2018)

Co-created inter-generationally with residents living at Copper Sky, researched by Dr. Strickfaden and her team at the University of Alberta, and funded by AGE-WELL, this film shows the power of music for people with profound dementia.

Musical Notes
Research - Reader's Hoard - Illustrated Film (2018)

Co-created inter-generationally with residents living at the Ashbourne, researched by Dr. Strickfaden and her team at the University of Alberta, and funded by AGE-WELL, this film shows the challenges of life transitions and how having access to the right resources makes all the difference.

Reader's Hoard
Research - The Necklace - Illustrated Film (2018)

Co-created inter-generationally with residents living at the Ashbourne, researched by Dr. Strickfaden and her team at the University of Alberta, and funded by AGE-WELL, this film shows how objects act as mediative devices and can help people with socialization.

The Necklace

Publications

Evaluating a Proposed Design for All (DfA) Manual for Architecture.
Author(s): Mosca, E., Herssens, J., Rebecchi, A., Strickfaden, M. & Capolongo, S.
Publication Date: 2019
Publication: In Di Bucchianico, G. (Ed): AHFE 2018, AISC 776, Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019_
Page Numbers: 54-64
External Link: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-94622-1_6
From Industrial Design Education to Practice: Creating Discipline Through Design Sprints.
Author(s): Thomas, J. & Strickfaden, M.
Publication Date: 2019
Publication: In Chung, W. & Shin, C.S. (Eds) AHFE 2018, AISC 790, Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019_
Page Numbers: 111-121
External Link: https://www.springerprofessional.de/en/from-industrial-design-education-to-practice-creating-discipline/15889852
Caring by Design: Innovating Living Spaces for Persons with Dementia.
Author(s): Strickfaden, M.
Publication Date: 2018
Publication: Design Community, Special Issue on Rehabilitation and Aging Environments in Western Canada.
Volume: 086
Issue: 04
Page Numbers: 46-71

Improving Design Understanding of Inclusivity in Autonomous Vehicles: A Driver and Passenger Taskscape Approach
Author(s): Strickfaden, M. & Langdon, P.
Publication Date: 2018
Publication: In Langdon, P., Lazar, J., Heylighen, A. & Dong, H. (Eds) Breaking down barriers: Usability, Accessibility and Inclusive Design.
Volume: Switzerland: Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018
Page Numbers: 181-194
External Link: https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783319750279
The Active Role of Material Things: An Environment-based Conceptual Framework to Understand the Well-being of People with Dementia
Author(s): Ren, H. & Strickfaden, M.
Publication Date: 2018
Publication: Open Journal of Social Sciences
Volume: 6
Page Numbers: 11-23
External Link: https://www.researchgate.net/journal/2327-5952_Open_Journal_of_Social_Sciences
In Focus: Blind Photographers Challenge Visual Expectations
Author(s): Strickfaden, M.
Publication Date: 2017
Publication: In Rethinking Disability: World Perspectives in Culture and Society. Garant Publishers. Antwerpen Belgium
Page Numbers: 149-163

Light in the Borderlands: A Film Created by Three Legally Blind Urban Explorers
Author(s): Ruiz, A. & Strickfaden, M.
Publication Date: 2016
Publication: In Rethinking Disability: World Perspectives in Culture and Society. Garant Publishers. Antwerpen Belgium.
Page Numbers: 317-387

Rethinking Disability: World Perspectives in Culture and Society
Author(s): Devlieger, P., Miranda-Galarza, B., Brown, S. & Strickfaden, M.
Publication Date: 2016
Publication: Garant Publishers. Antwerpen, Belgium.
Page Numbers: 1-513

Taken for Granted: Material Relations between Disability and Codes/Guidelines.
Author(s): Rieger, J. & Strickfaden, M.
Publication Date: 2016
Publication: Societies
Volume: 6
Page Numbers: 1-13
External Link: http://www.mdpi.com/2075-4698/6/1/6
Transmodern, Transhuman and Posthuman Explorations
Author(s): Strickfaden, M. & Brown, S.
Publication Date: 2016
Publication: In Rethinking Disability: World Perspectives in Culture and Society. Garant Publishers. Antwerpen Belgium
Page Numbers: 383-387

What we Learned in Design School and Other Messages from Two Seasoned Professionals
Author(s): Thomas, J. & Strickfaden, M.
Publication Date: 2016
Publication: Innovation: Quarterly of the Industrial Designers Society of America. Special Edition on Women in Design-Friction, Pioneers, Swainson.
Volume: Spring
Page Numbers: 46-49

Inspired & Inspiring Textile Designers: Understanding Creativity through Influence & Inspiration
Author(s): Strickfaden, M., Stafiniak, L. & Terzin, T.
Publication Date: 2015
Publication: Clothing & Textiles Research Journal, Special Edition on Creativity and Design Process.
Volume: 33
Issue: 3
Page Numbers: 213-228
External Link: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0887302X15578263
Spatial Explorations and Digital Traces: Experiences of Legal Blindness through Filmmaking
Author(s): Ruiz, A. & Strickfaden, M.
Publication Date: 2015
Publication: Societies
Volume: 5
Page Numbers: 1-19
External Link: http://www.mdpi.com/2075-4698/6/1/2
Interview Tomislav Terzin & Megan Strickfaden
Author(s): Terzin, T. & Strickfaden, M.
Publication Date: 2014
Publication: Zygote Quarterly issue 10 (ZQ10)
Volume: 3
Page Numbers: 104-119
External Link: http://zqjournal.org/?p=309
On the quest for better communication through tactile images.
Author(s): Strickfaden, M. & Vildieu, A.
Publication Date: 2014
Publication: Journal of Aesthetic Education (JAE).
Volume: 48
Issue: 2
Page Numbers: 105-122
External Link: https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5406/jaesteduc.48.2.0105?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
Human traces in urban spaces
Author(s): Titley, W., MacDonald, J., & Strickfaden, M.
Publication Date: 2013
Publication: International Journal of Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design
Volume: 6
Issue: 4
Page Numbers: 19-31
External Link: https://www.napier.ac.uk/research-and-innovation/research-search/outputs/human-traces-in-urban-places
{Im}materiality: Designing for More Sense/s.
Author(s): Heylighen, A. & Strickfaden, M.
Publication Date: 2012
Publication: Space and Culture
Volume: 15
Page Numbers: 180-185
External Link: http://sac.sagepub.com/content/15/3/180.abstract
Reversing the (im)material sense of a non-place: The impact of blindness on the Brussels metro
Author(s): Devlieger, P., & Strickfaden, M.
Publication Date: 2012
Publication: Space and Culture
Volume: 15
Page Numbers: 224 - 238
External Link: http://sac.sagepub.com/content/15/3/224.abstract
Empathic design research: Moving towards a new mode of industrial design education
Author(s): McDonagh, D., Thomas, J., & Strickfaden, M.
Publication Date: 2011
Publication: Design Principles and Practices: An International Design Journal.
Volume: 5
Issue: 4
Page Numbers: 301-314

Empathy through accumulating techné: Designing an accessible metro
Author(s): Strickfaden, M., & Devlieger, P.
Publication Date: 2011
Publication: The Design Journal. Special Edition on ‘Design Empathy'
Volume: 14
Issue: 2
Page Numbers: 207-229

Cultural capital: A thesaurus for teaching design
Author(s): Strickfaden, M., & Heylighen A.
Publication Date: 2010
Publication: International Journal of Art & Design Education (iJade)
Volume: 29
Issue: 2
Page Numbers: 121-133
External Link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1476-8070.2010.01653.x/abstract
Scrutinising design educators’ perceptions of design process
Author(s): Strickfaden, M. & Heylighen A.
Publication Date: 2010
Publication: Artificial Intelligence for Engineering Design, Analysis and Manufacturing (AIEDAM)
Volume: 24
Issue: 3
Page Numbers: 357-366
External Link: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=7833157
Architects and visually impaired people: Analysing two ways of talking
Author(s): Vermeersch, P.W., Strickfaden, M., Herssens, J. & Heylighen, A.
Publication Date: 2009
Publication: DS 58-10: Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Engineering Design
Volume: 10
Issue: Design Education and Lifelong Learning

Building empathy through dialogue
Author(s): Strickfaden, M., Devlieger, P. & Heylighen, A.
Publication Date: 2009
Publication: Design Connexity
Page Numbers: 448-452

Design expertise as disability and vice versa
Author(s): Heylighen, A., Devlieger, P. & Strickfaden, M.
Publication Date: 2009
Publication: Communicating (by) Design
Page Numbers: 227-235

Untangling the culture medium in design students
Author(s): Strickfaden, M., Heylighen, A., Rodgers, P., & Neuckermans, H.
Publication Date: 2006
Publication: CoDesign
Volume: 2
Issue: 2
Page Numbers: 97-107
External Link: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a746002861
Physical demands analysis of occupational tasks in neighborhood pubs
Author(s): Jones, T., Strickfaden, M., & Kumar, S.
Publication Date: 2005
Publication: Applied Ergonomics
Volume: 36
Issue: 5
Page Numbers: 535-545
External Link: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?
The ‘culture medium’ in design education
Author(s): Strickfaden, M., Heylighen, A., Rodgers, P., & Neuckermans, H.
Publication Date: 2005
Publication: Crossing Design Boundaries
Page Numbers: 69-53

Scripting—personal narratives in the designing of artefacts
Author(s): Strickfaden, M. & Rodgers, P.
Publication Date: 2004
Publication: The Design Journal,
Volume: 7
Issue: 1
Page Numbers: 3-15

Establishing thermal comfort: Characterization of selected performance and physical properties of fabrics used in hospital operating room uniforms
Author(s): Xu, Y., McQueen, R., Strickfaden, M., Aslund, A., & Batcheller, J.
Publication: The Journal of the Textile Institute
External Link: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00405000.2011.602229
Questioning communication in tactile representation
Author(s): Strickfaden, M., & Vildieu, M.
Publication: Include
External Link: http://include11.kinetixevents.co.uk/4dcgi/prog?operation=detail&paper_id=417
The Brussels metro: Accessibility through co-creation
Author(s): Strickfaden, M., & Devlieger, P.
Publication: Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness

Who are they? Student voices about the ‘other’
Author(s): Strickfaden, M. & Heylighen, A.
Publication: Include
External Link: http://include09.kinetixevents.co.uk/4dcgi/prog?operation=author&id=117