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IxD Faculty

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Ashley John Pigford

Associate Professor & Director of the Interaction Design Graduate Program

Ashley John Pigford is an interaction designer working at the intersection of design process and art practice. His cross-disciplinary creative work involves physical computing and postdigital processes in the interrogation of language through digitally-mediated experiences. His work manifests as electronic sculpture, interactive installation, performance, video and print. He received his MFA in Graphic Design from the Rhode Island School of Design after a successful career as a proprietor of graphic design in Los Angeles, CA. He is an Assistant Professor of Visual Communications in the Department of Art at the University of Delaware.

Ashley operates his studio, Design is good for you, in collaboration with artists and designers around the world. He is always involved in a wide array of creative projects.

Ashley leads a research project in collaboration with Nemours A.I. duPont Hospital for Childern that involves the design and development of assistive devices for children with specific disabilities. IxD graduate students are deeply involved in this research.

Dr. Jia-Rey (Gary) Chang, PhD

Assistant Professor

After completing his M.Arch degree in Architecture and Urban Design Department, UCLA, under the direction of Neil Denari in 2009, he came back to his Alma mater, the Architecture Department in TamKang University, Taiwan, researching on interactive and parametric architecture. In 2010, he established “P&A LAB” (Programming and Architecture LAB, and lately integrated into archgary.com to continue) exploring the new possible relationship between the programming and architecture. Meanwhile, he also worked in the Architecture Department of the National Taipei University of Technology as an adjunct lecturer. In 2011, he joined the Hyperbody LAB, Department of Architectural Engineering and Technology, TU Delft, for his Ph.D. research on Interactive Architecture. Cooperating with choreographers, visual artists, composers, and programmers, he has been involved in an EU project, MetaBody, during 2011-2014 to explore the pro-activeness and intra-action relationship between body movement and spatial quality. In early 2018, he finished his Ph.D. research with the dissertation titles as “HyperCell: A Bio-inspired Design Frameworks for Real-time Interactive Architectures”, proposing the idea of self-intelligent building components by exploring into the fields of computation, embodiment, and biology in design. Meanwhile, he is also extremely interested in the transdisciplinary topics of fashion design, creative coding, visualization, 2D/3D simulation, interactive design and motion tracking technology, and conduct numerous workshops over the years. He is now an assistant professor in the IXD Lab, Department of Art & Design, University of Delaware continuing developing his HyperCell concept and projects around his philosophy of ‘space as a living being’ and immersive spatial Interaction Design.

Anthony Middlebrooks

Director, Graduate Programs, & Associate Professor, Horn Program in Entrepreneurship

Tony Middlebrooks, Ph.D. creates tools, explores and teaches at the intersection of leadership, innovation, creativity and design as Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Programs in the Horn Program in Entrepreneurship at the University of Delaware. Previously he helped develop the Organizational and Community Leadership program at UD, and the doctoral program in leadership as a professor at Cardinal Stritch University. He spent ten years prior in non-profit leadership positions culminating in writing, consulting, and presenting on a variety of leadership topics. Dr. Middlebrooks teaches courses in leadership theory and practice, decision-making, creativity and innovation, and social entrepreneurship. His current research interests focus on methods of leadership education and the integration of leadership, creativity, and design thinking. Dr. Middlebrooks has a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. 

Christopher Raia

Assistant Professor

Christopher Raia, IDSA, is an award-winning Industrial and Graphic Designer whose work focuses on projects that require a seamless integration of two- and three-dimensional aspects. A graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, his early professional positions offered broad exposure to the power of integrating graphics with physical design, experience which formed the core of his project work.

He is currently Director of Graphics at MGA Partners, a nationally-recognized architecture firm with a multidisciplinary approach to crafting the built environment. He directs graphic and fundraising initiatives for clients, develops proposals for new projects, leads the fabrication of interactive tools for client presentations, and engages the staff in professional development activities. Prior to this he ran a successful Boston-based design consultancy for 17 years that produced products, packaging, and exhibits for domestic and international clients. He holds a dozen Design & Utility Patents for his work, and two national housewares design awards.

His academic affiliations are with Wentworth Institute of Technology, where he taught both major studios and technical classes for over a decade in the Industrial Design program; and at University of Delaware, where he teaches an Industrial Design class in the Interaction Design and Entrepreneurship Masters Programs.

He is a native of Wilmington, Delaware.

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IxD Faculty
  • Department of Art & Design
  • 104 Recitation Hall
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-2244
  • artdepartment@udel.edu