Principal Investigator

Jung-hye Shin

Credentials: Professor, Design Studies


Phone: 608-890-3704

Jung-hye Shin is interested in the impact of homes and communities on the health and wellbeing of people who use them. Shin broadly interprets those experiences as an outcome of complex interactions among the physical structure, social relations, and sociocultural expectations that govern the building. Her most recent research has focused on the role of home and communities in helping older adults age in place. By listening to their lived experiences and observing to their everyday practices my hope is to create better policy discussions and design guidelines.

Affiliated Professors

Beth Fields

Credentials: Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy


Phone: 608-263-7295

I am a board-certified occupational therapist, an Assistant Professor of Kinesiology, and a geriatric health services and caregiving researcher. I went to Colorado State University and the University of Pittsburgh for occupational therapy and postdoctoral training. My research focuses on developing, testing and implementing person and family-centered assessments and interventions in the hospital and home settings. I’m hugely passionate about finding ways to improve the quality of care and life of aging adults and their family member or friend care partners. Along with all that, I’m a proud Wisconsinite, an academic mama, and travel enthusiast.

Kevin Ponto

Credentials: Associate Professor, Design Studies


Phone: 608-265-3958

Kevin Ponto is Associate Professor in the Design Studies Department in the School of Human Ecology and faculty in the Virtual Environments Group (formerly the Living Environments Lab) at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He received his BS, Computer Engineering from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, his MS from the University of California, Irvine, and his PhD from the University of California, San Diego. Kevin has a long history of multidisciplinary studies. He has exhibited artistic work while in Arts Computation Engineering program at the University of California, Irvine. He worked on projects to rediscover a lost Leonardo da Vinci painting, locate the tomb of Genghis Khan, and facilitate natural methods for the public to explore cultural heritage artifacts in the Center of Interdisciplinary Science for Art, Architecture and Archaeology at the University of California, San Diego. In his post-doctorate studies, Ponto worked on projects aimed at presenting, summarizing, and replaying virtual experiences and developed new methods for interfacing with virtual environments through the Computation and Informatics in Biology and Medicine program. His current research objectives aim to develop techniques to better the experience of virtual reality through new devices, interfaces, and techniques.

Lab Members

Ren Chang

Credentials: Developer


I am a mechanical engineer with extensive programming experience. I believe that the user should be at the center of the products I help develop. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, cooking, and tinkering with electronics.

Dowon Lee

Credentials: PhD Candidate


I believe that everyone — regardless of age, abilities, or background — deserves access to communities that imbue a sense of belonging. Thus, my research interests lie in the inclusive built environment that supports socially excluded populations, especially older adults, through spatial design and program and eventually bridging the gap among different social groups.

Ross Tredinnick

Credentials: AR Developer


Ross Tredinnick (pronounced: Tre-din-nick) is a fourth generation Madison native and a sixth generation Wisconsinite. Prior to working at WID, Ross worked in the video game development industry for six years as a technology programmer. In his spare time, Tredinnick enjoys camping, cooking, gardening, running, playing slow pitch softball, and following Wisconsin collegiate and professional sports teams. Ross enjoys spending time with his wife Allison and son Weston.


Jade Ho


I am currently an undergraduate student studying Interior Architecture with a certificate in Sustainability. I’ve always been passionate about human creative expression, whether through movement, making, design, and space. I aim to combine these passions and help create spaces that work both functionally and emotionally to promote healing and joy.

Jenny Lee


I am a senior majoring in Interior Architecture and pursuing certificates in Graphic Design and Design Strategy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In my work, I strive to give back to my community by designing comfortable, affordable, and accessible spaces. As an emerging interior designer, I am interested in exploring how I can empower human-environment interactions through meaningful design solutions.

Rachael Shields


Hello! I'm Rachael, a doctoral student in Human Ecology - Design Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a licensed landscape architect. My academic and professional interests in design are diverse, spanning landscape architecture, architecture, interior design, fabrication, UI/UX design, signage design, and graphic design.