OU Interior Design Faculty Receive Seed Funding Grant 

An interdisciplinary OU team was recently awarded a $10,000 seed grant from the OU Data Institute for Societal Challenges. The team includes Interior Design faculty Negar Matin and Yeji Yi, as well as Professor Anna Nguyen from the OU Health Sciences Center, VoyagerVR co-founder Christian Bretz, Graduate Research Assistant Moradi Naftchali and Fernando Moreno Garcia.

A team member using VR equipment.

The team was awarded funding for their project, “The Interaction between Virtual Multi-Sensory Environments and Children with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in Central Oklahoma.” The study will design and examine virtual reality multi-sensory environments that could potentially help with the nonpreferred behaviors of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  

According to Yi, a growing body of environmental design research has explored VR technology, which can simulate real-world environmental stimuli while tackling the spatial challenges of physical environments. In this study, the team will analyze children’s behavioral data to appropriately design VR multi-sensory environments that support their behavioral patterns.

With this grant, the team hopes to expand their current project and collaborate with other data science professionals to bring about positive changes in society. This research will help them identify specific environmental design factors that are correlated with positive behaviors in children. 

Congratulations to our Gibbs faculty members who received this grant!