Teaching and researching the spatial experience: Q&A with Jain Kwon

Jain Kwon standing in front of greenery.
Jain Kwon

Jain Kwon is an assistant professor in the Department of Design and Merchandising at Colorado State University. Learn more about why she came to CSU and her research interests in multisensory and kinesthetic spatial experience.

1. What brought you to the Department of Design and Merchandising at CSU?

I was drawn to the reputation of CSU as a land-grant institution and a Carnegie Research 1 university, as well as the Department of Design and Merchandising as a great academic cohort. I am very grateful to join the faculty of the department, and to have opportunities to contribute to their academic excellence.

2. What are your research interests, and how did you get into that topic?

My research area is interior occupants’ bodily experience in architectonic environments. My current projects specifically focus on kinesthetic aspects of spatial experience and selective visual attention to architectonic elements in multi-sensory contexts, which are also tied to my teaching. I can confidently say that every experience in my life has helped me establish my research. That includes working as a licensed interior architect, teaching at universities in two countries for 20 years, and various learning experiences since my childhood, including painting, music, dance, and figure skating.

3. What’s your teaching philosophy?

I believe that the true value of education, regardless of the discipline, is in enabling students to understand the diverse needs of society and to seek ways to contribute to the community. The nature of interior architecture practice is collaborative and multi-disciplinary. It is crucial that students have collaborative learning opportunities both within the program as well as with other disciplines. I also strongly believe that students learn through every life experience. They should take courses and do assignments, but they also need to find out how to apply and practice the knowledge in their daily life.

4. What’s your favorite thing about campus?

What I most appreciate about our campus is its welcoming and healthy vibe. It makes me feel uplifted. Of course, moving from Georgia, I enjoy the nice, dry weather whenever I’m exploring the campus. I look forward to finding more of the dynamic and beautiful spots around our campus.

The Department of Design and Merchandising is part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.