Maria Miller, IDSA


Maria Miller, IDSA
Visiting Assistant Professor: Industrial Design, Design Research, Collaborative Design

Following a decade of professional practice, Maria Miller transitioned into full-time teaching and research in 2007. Her experience in practice included work on Context Sensitive Design in multidisciplinary teams, conducting research for the Department of Transportation and organizing events to foster community collaboration in the design process. This experience she brought into the academic environment, shaping her teaching and research trajectory.

From 2016-2019 she held a visiting appointment in Design at The Ohio State University where she supervised student senior thesis projects, including a recent IDSA Student Merit District Awardee. Her curriculum development consistently demonstrates a commitment to the importance of empathy, and social and ecological responsibility in design. Her multi-cultural heritage has informed a passionate support for inclusion and helped shape the holistic approach that is central to her design philosophy. At Iowa State University, she served as Cochair of the College of Design’s Diversity Committee in 2015. She is also a recipient of the Iowa State University Multicultural Student Affairs Director's Award.

As a committed transdisciplinary instructor and researcher, diversity comes with the territory. Maria’s approach to design education employs a sensitive mindfulness of the complex nuances required for good problem solving. This approach extends to inform a genuine appreciation for the differences of people she teaches and with whom she collaborates. Maria’s passion for diversity expands to include neurodiversity. Her research centers on better understanding and accommodating for cognitive style preferences and using this knowledge to build the motivated, effective, collegial, diverse, multidisciplinary teams that today’s complex problems demand.

Additional research focuses include habits and the creative process in design, and ontological insecurity and work in the fourth industrial revolution.

For more information visit: