Designing with a sense of place, with particular interest in color and materials that are regarded as fringe, waste or by-product.
Melanie is a multi-disciplinary designer, artist and educator. Before becoming the interim Chair of the Color and Materials Design department at the College of Creative Studies in Detroit, she spent two decades working in the fashion industry and academia in New York, San Francisco, Qatar, and Indonesia. During this time, she piloted her signature collection and brick-and-mortar shop in Brooklyn, NY; taught fashion design at VCUQatar in Doha, Qatar; and spearheaded a two-year, cross-cultural vocational program in Java, Indonesia, in textiles and ceramics. Her recent exhibition, Color Lab, focused on the materiality of color to create interactive landscapes through point-of-origin pigments. She is a guest designer in the international collective, PiCoDe, that is researching best practices in preparing students for the industry through place-based product design. Melanie’s research interests include objects and experiences with a Sense of Place, the Materiality of Color, the Found Object as Art (Seeing), Interactive Environments, Creative Archiving, Making as Research, Re-imagining Waste Materials, Design Systems and Processes, Modularity in Footwear, Adaptive Design for Climate Change, and Trend Futures.