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Advisory Council Member Faculty

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  • Kelly Cobb, Associate Professor

    Associate Professor
    University of Delaware
    202 Alison Hall West
    Newark, DE 19716
    302-831-6132
    http://kellyacobb.tumblr.com/

    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:

    • Co-designing “wearable narrative” garments customizing textile print design to encourage recall in elderly people experiencing memory loss.
    • Visioning through material exploration, a compostable mushroom fabric.
    • 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.

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

    I conduct research in the area of textile innovation through applied materiality. Derived from craft, and considerate of both social (labor, well-being) and environmental (material, EOU) impacts, this specialized approach encompasses fiber, weave, dye, print and technology as drivers for development, often co-designed with users. Materiality is a way of thinking about material and how might inform how we relate to each other and the world around us.

    Degrees

    MFA, The University of Florida

    BFA, The Maryland Institute, College of Art

    Research Interests

    • Sustainable Textile and Apparel Design and Production
    • Textile Innovation/Applied Materiality
    • Creative Process/Design Thinking
    • Co-Design of Wearables to Encourage Well-Being

    Recent Design Scholarship

    Selected Exhibition

    Lapolla, K., Cobb, K. (2019) Wearing-Wellbeing: A co-design process with dementia patients. International MinD Conference Designing with and for People with Dementia: Wellbeing, Empowerment and Happiness. Dresden, Germany.

    Cobb, K. , Lopez-Gydosh, D. J., & Orzada, B. T. (2018, November). 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, November). 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. 

    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). 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). 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., Dickson, M.A., Cobb, K., Carper, M., & Shaffer, B (2016-2020) Textile and apparel curriculum development for a sustainable future. National Institute for Food and Agriculture, Higher Education - Institution Challenge Grants Program.

    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.

    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.

    Courses Regularly Taught

    • Interdisciplinary Approaches To Creative Problem Solving
    • Sustainability in the Fashion Industry
    • Lifecycle Approach To Design
    • Fashion Communication

 

 

 

 

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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
  • United States Fashion Industry Association