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Advisory Council Member Faculty

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Kelly Cobb
Assistant Professor
University of Delaware
202 Alison Hall West
Newark, DE 19716
302-831-6132

Biography

My research employs imaginative ways to rethink current systems (by design) through social change strategies, re-design scenarios and user-led creative developments.  Projects in which I have had the opportunity to put these ideas into action include:

  • Leading product development research with a major athleticwear company to explore opportunities for “Made in the USA” production of athletic leisure wear.  

  • Global multi-disciplinary research conducted in collaboration with a vertically integrated denim producer, involved tracing the denim supply chain with the objective of demystifying it, from a Texas field, to a Guatemala factory, to a New York City showroom floor.  

  • Launching a mobile fashion workshop utilizing UD’s research tuk-tuk, introducing Philadelphia residents to upcycling as a means to capture from textile waste.

  • Co-designing “wearable narrative” garments customizing textile print design to encourage recall in elderly people experiencing memory loss.  

  • Leading the development of a pop-up store featuring sustainable textile, apparel and accessory products developed by UD Alum.

  • Visioning through material exploration, a compostable mushroom fabric.

My expertise blends hands-on textile skills, expert applied knowledge of creative process with materials, towards innovative technical, sustainable end goals. I have made a mission of what I call crafting innovation by cross-pollinating genres within my discipline  (historic costume and virtual prototyping) through interdisciplinary projects (mechanical engineering, health sciences) and globally (design research with Ixchel Museum of Textiles in Guatemala). Through my research, I offer tangible solutions to the critical challenges facing our industry and the world creatively, by design.

Degrees

MFA, The University of Florida

BFA, The Maryland Institute, College of Art

Courses Regularly Taught

Interdisciplinary Approaches To Creative Problem Solving

Product Development and Management Studio

Lifecycle Approach To Design

Sustainability in the Fashion Industry

Re-Design methods in Sustainable Fashion

Portfolio Preparation + Self Branding and Promotion

Trend Forecasting

Recent Design Scholarship

Selected Exhibition

Cobb, K., Lapolla, K. (2018-submitted) Wearable Narrative: A Textile Co-Design Scenario for Well-Being. Surface Design Association 2018 International Exhibition In Print. Las Vegas, NM.

Cobb, K. , Lopez-Gydosh, D. J., & Orzada, B. T. (2018-accepted). Neo-heritage ensemble #1. International Textile and Apparel Association Design Exhibition. Cleveland, Ohio. Professional Category. Acceptance rate 49%.

Tang, W., Silverman, J., Cobb, K., & Cao, H. (2018-Accepted). Mycelium Afoot: Fashioning Sustainable Footwear. International Textile and Apparel Association. Acceptance Rate: 23%. Cleveland, OH.

Cobb, K . , Lopez-Gydosh, D. J., & Orzada, B. T. (2018, March). Neo-heritage ensemble #1. Costume Society of America Design Innovation Showcase. Williamsburg, VA: wool, polyester/lycra. Acceptance rate 44%.

Davelaar, E., Tortorice, C., Silverman, J., DiSanzo, A., & Blissick, M. (2016, November). Synthesis. International Textile and Apparel Association Design Exhibition. Vancouver, Canada. (Faculty mentor) 35% acceptance rate.

Cobb, K., Kallal, J., Orzada, B., Hall, M., Roelse, K., & Gorea, A. (2016, May). Cloud Eater. Contemporary and Wearable Art of Shibori and Ikat, Oaxaca, Mexico.

Davelaar, E.,Tortorice, C., Cobb, K. (2016, November). Bonnie and Bye.A braided approach to Design.   International Textile and Apparel Association Design Exhibition. Vancouver, Canada. Acceptance rate 39%. Graduate Category.

Cobb, K., Kallal, J., Orzada, B., Hall, M., Roelse, K., & Gorea, A. (2016,May). Cloud eater. Contemporary and Wearable Art of Shibori and Ikat. Oaxaca, Mexico. Acceptance rate 90%.

Cobb, K. (2015, November) Saori ensemble. International Textile and Apparel Association Design Exhibition, Santa Fe, NM. . Acceptance rate 41.7% Professional Category.

Cobb, K., Kallal, J., Orzada, B., Hall, M., Roelse, K., & Gorea, A. (2014, November). Cloud eater. International Textile and Apparel Association Design Exhibition, Target Market Live Exhibition. Charlotte, NC. Acceptance rate 43%. Professional Category.

Cobb, K. (2013, September). Fold. Beyond the selvage: A history of screen-printing. Philadelphia, PA:  The Fabric Workshop and Museum.

Cobb, K. (2012, November) Balenciaga Kapakahi, Balenciaga in Hawaii Design Competition sponsored by Paris American Academy. International Textile and Apparel Association Conference. Honolulu, HI. November 2012. Acceptance rate 37%.Professional Category.

Cobb, K. (2011, April). Batik with QR code, American Batik Competition. Jakarta, Indonesia: Textile Museum. Prize Winner of International Competition.

Selected Writing

Clarke-Sather, A. & Cobb, K. (2018)  Onshoring fashion: Measuring worker sustainability benefits and impacts of sourcing globally versus locally for apparel. Journal for Cleaner Production. 

Cobb, K., Orzada, B., & Lopez-Gydosh, D. (2018) History is always in fashion: The practice of artifact-based dress history in the academic collection. Journal for Textile Design Research and Practice (accepted)

Cobb, K. & Lapolla, K. (2018). Wearing well-being: Co-creative and textile-based approaches to enhancing palliative care. Journal for Textile Design Research and Practice. (revise/resubmit-submitted October, 2018)

Cobb, K.  & Orzada, B. (2015). Facets of indigo: Combining traditional dye methods with state-of-the-art digital print technology, a sustainable design case. In S.S. Muthu & M. Gardetti (Eds.), Green Fashion. (25-42). Singapore: Springer-Verlag Singapur.

Cobb, K. (2015). 100-mile suit, (Ch.5:  How we conduct design research) in Rodgers and Yee (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to Design Research. (504-515). Abingdon, Oxon, UK: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group Publishers.

Cao, H., Dickson, M. A., Cobb, K., Carper, M., Scudder, C., & Wong, C. (2014). Applying sustainability performance measurement tool in designing and developing automotive employee uniforms. International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education, 8 (2), 78-86. doi:10.1080/17543266.2014.992051.

Orzada, B.T. & Cobb, K. (2011). Ethical fashion project: Partnering with industry. International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education, 4(3), 173-185. doi:10.1080/17543266.2011.606233.

Presentations

Cobb, K., Orzada, B. (2018, November-Accepted). Coming to our senses: The 21st century tactile. Paper to be presented at International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference, Cleveland, OH.

Silverman, J., Cao, H., Cobb, K. (2018, November-Accepted). Development of biodegradable footwear inputs from mushroom mycelium. Paper to be presented at International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference, Cleveland, OH.

Sather-Clarke, A., Cobb, K., Young, H., & Maloney, C. (2018). Contextual design theory applied to wearables that facilitate kangaroo care by interviewing mothers of hospitalized infants. Paper presented at Design of Medical Devices Conference, Minneapolis, MN.

Cobb, K., Roberts, D., Silverman, J., Bhatt, D. (2017). Mobile Up-Cycle Portable Research and Educational Outreach Unit. International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference. St. Petersburg, FL.

Cobb, K., Cao, H., Davelaar, E., Tortorice, C., Li, B., Sharek, A., Dubriel, M., Scarry, M. (2017) Physical to Virtual: Optimizing the Apparel Product Development Process to Reduce Solid Waste in Apparel. International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference. St. Petersburg, FL.

Cao, H., Carper, M., Cobb, K., Dickson, M., Silverman, J., Jelenewicz, S. (2017) Applying Problem-Based Learning (PBL) Strategy to Strengthen Sustainability Education in Textile and Apparel Curriculum. International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference. St. Petersburg, FL.

Lapolla, K. & Cobb, K. (2016). Wearing Well-being: Using Context Mapping toward the Development of Garment Therapy for Elderly Populations. Presented at the International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference. Vancouver, Canada.

Cobb, K., Davelaar, E. , & Tortorice, C. (2016). Bonnie and Bye: A braided approach to design. International Textile and Apparel Association Design Exhibition. Vancouver, Canada.

Cobb, K.  (2015). On-the-Ground: Integrating Sustainability into the Higher Learning Curriculum through Factory-Floor Experiences. Feeding Fashion Energies: New Pathways For Fashion Education. World Expo, Milan. Milan, Italy: Domas Academy.

Tortorice, C. Cobb, K. Lopez-Gydosh, D. (2015) Fashion CSI: Exploring the Application of Virtual Design Software in Historic Costume and Textiles Collections. Presented at  CSA Annual Conference, San Antonio, TX.

Cobb, K.  (2015). Presentation of Personal Creative Research Methods: Design and Social Practice. Presented as part of a special session on “Design research: retrievable, contextualized, and making a contribution to knowledge in the field” at the annual conference of the International Textile and Apparel Association, Santa Fe, NM.

Grants and Contracts

Cao, H., Silverman, J.,  Cobb, K. (2017)  Development of mushroom mycelium based biocomposites for fashion products.U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, P3 Award: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity, and the Planet.

Cobb, K. (PI, faculty Advisor), Cao, H, DuBreuil, M.,  Stellato, M.,  Scarry, M. (2016). From Physical To Virtual: Optimizing the Apparel Product Development Process to Reduce Solid Waste in Apparel Production with the use of 3D Models and Maps. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, P3 Award: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity, and the Planet.

Cao, H., Dickson, M.A., Cobb, K., Carper, M., & Shaffer, B (2016-2019) Textile and apparel curriculum development for a sustainable future. National Institute for Food and Agriculture, Higher Education - Institution Challenge Grants Program.

Cobb, K.(2016). Mobile UPCYCLE: A Portable Maker-Platform and Educational Outreach Unit. General Research Grant Program. University of Delaware.

Cobb, K. (2016) UDXLOCAL Ethical Fashion Collection: A Lifecycle Approach To Apparel Product Development That Considers The Social Responsibility and Environmental Sustainability Implications from Fiber to Consumer. University of Delaware Center For Teaching and Learning Travel Grant.

Cobb, K. (2014). LEUCO State: College Fashion Innovates Indigo on Cotton using Digital Print technology. Cotton Student Sponsorship Grant, Cotton Incorporated.

Cobb, K. (2013). Digi-Atelier: A 24/7 Video-Based Design Tutorial Resource Library University of Delaware IT Transformation Grant.

Cobb, K. (2012). CAS Faculty Research and Enrichment Grants for the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences for presentation at the 2012 International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference, Honolulu, HI.

Cobb, K., Carper, M., Wyatt, N. "Cotton Lab: 2012: From the Ground Up. Product Development and Management collaboration." Cotton Student Sponsorship Grant, Cotton Incorporated.

Huantian Cao, Martha Carper, Kelly Cobb, Marsha Dickson. (2011) Sustainable Automotive Uniform Design and Development. In collaboration with The University of Delaware Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies and International Sportswear brand.

Cobb, K., Cotton Lab: 2010. (2010). Cotton Student Sponsorship Grant, Cotton Incorporated.

Honors and Awards

Fulbright Specialist

UD Makerspace Faculty Fellow

Finalist, Structure and Surface Textile Industry Project. Mural Arts Program and The City of Philadelphia, PA.

Finalist in Hawaii Professional Design Award sponsored by Paris American Academy

Grand Prize Winner, American Batik Contest. The Indonesian Embassy and Asia Society

Nominated for Arts and Sciences outstanding teacher award, The University of Delaware, Newark, DE

Best Teaching Paper: ESRAB. From the Ground-Up: Cotton Lab. International Apparel and Textile Association.

Awarded Paper of Distinction Cobb, K. and Orzada, B. Partnering with Industry. International Textile and Apparel Association Sustainability Track.

Research Interests

  • Textile Innovation/Applied Materiality

  • Sustainable Approaches to Design

  • Creative Process

  • Collaboration/Multidisciplinary Projects

 

 

Integrating sustainable textile and apparel concepts into FASH undergraduate curriculumCao, Huantian;Carper, Martha;Dickson, Marsha;Cobb, Kelly;Shaffer, Brendahcao;mcarper;mdickson;kcobb;bshafferhttps://www.fashion.udel.edu/ResearchProjects/fash-group_photo-072115-008.jpg
Bonnie and Bye: A Braided Approach to DesignCobb, KellykcobbElizabeth Davelaar, Cara Tortoricehttps://www.fashion.udel.edu/ResearchProjects/Kelly Cobb 2.jpg
Mobile UpcycleCobb, KellykcobbJillian Silverman, Dipti Bhatthttps://www.fashion.udel.edu/ResearchProjects/Mobile Upcycle.jpg
Synthesis Design Collaboration and LCA researchCobb, Kelly;Clarke-Sather, Abigail;Blissick, Megan;Davelaar, Elizabeth;Tortorice, Cara;Silverman, Jillian;Disanzo, Anthonykcobb;aclarke-sather;mblissick;edavelaar;ctortorice;Jillian Silverman;adisanzoMikayla Durbiel-Summer Scholar https://www.fashion.udel.edu/ResearchProjects/Synthesis 2.jpg

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  • Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies
  • 211 Alison Hall West
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-8714
  • fashion-studies@udel.edu