Dr Karen Hong

Ph.D in Media Design, Graduate School of Media Design
Keio University
PGCert, Higher Education,
National Institute of Education
MA, Textile Design,
Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design
BA, Visual Arts, Curtin University of Technology
Dr Karen Hong has received her Ph.D. in Media Design from the Graduate School of Media Design, Keio University in Tokyo. Her research focuses on the development of SMART Textiles that can be used as Tactile Therapy for children with Sensory Processing Disorder. She explores the area of thermoplastic fabrics, working with thermoplastics in the form of fabrics and yarns and testing out if these thermoplastics can be given a 3D form. These experimentations of different construction methods and amalgamation of different surface design techniques may change the physical and aesthetic properties of the thermoplastics. With the successful creations of the 3D thermoplastic fabrics, she then develops them into SMART Textiles for Tactile Therapy for the targeted group of users such as the children and the elderly.

Karen has been with the Art and Design education in Singapore for more than 15 years. Institutions she has been with includes Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts, Nanyang Technological University; School of Art, Design and Media (ADM) and Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT). From 2004 to 2006, she held the position of an Assistant Director with DesignSingapore Council. She managed the Design Culture Unit, spearheaded the collection of Singapore Design Statistics, and lead the study on the Singaporeans Design Awareness Index. She also planned and launched the inaugural DesignSingapore Scholarship with her team of colleagues.

Karen has been awarded several research grants during her Assistant Professorship at NTU for her research projects. She has also been awarded the Overseas Promotion Partnership Programme grant from the DesignSingapore Council for exhibiting her works in various prestigious design platforms overseas such as "State of Design Festival 2009" in Melbourne, Australia and "TALENTS – AMBEINTE 2010" in Messe Frankfurt Design Trade Fair in Germany.

She has exhibited in various renowned design festivals and fairs locally and around the world. They include: "Singapore Design Festival 2009" ; "PLATFORM - International Furniture Fair Singapore 2012" ; "Design, Made Trade 2012" in Melbourne Australia; "100% Design Singapore 2012"; "Tokyo Design Week 2012" ; "Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair 2013" ; "Smart Fabrics 2013" in San Francisco and "Shifting Paradigms: Fashion + Technology 2014" in Ohio.

Dr Karen Hong will continue her research within the area of Tactile Therapy. She aims to develop more tactile products and to contribute her research and developments to the special needs as well as the elderly community.