BS, Cornell University; MS, Philadelphia University
Melissa Dawson is an Assistant Professor of Industrial Design at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY USA, who earned a BS in Textiles & Apparel at Cornell University and a MS in Textile Design at Philadelphia University. Melissa has spent both her professional design and academic careers espousing the technological complexities of successful soft product design. Over the last several years, Melissa has used her experience to successfully integrate formal soft goods product design courses into RIT’s internationally-ranked Industrial Design undergraduate and graduate programs through the creation of RIT Soft Studio. Melissa’s scholarship interests include RIT Soft Studio’s Abracemos lo Nuestro Project, which empowers traditional Paraguayan textile artisans with design strategies to encourage innovation in new product applications. Melissa is also a Fulbright Specialist and working on her PhD in Textile Science & Engineering.
Fulbright Specialist Program
In the News
December 12, 2019
Industrial design duo presents research on artisan innovation
Andrea Gonzalez Esteche ’19 MFA (Industrial Design) and assistant professor Melissa Dawson are developing new ways for Paraguayan artisans to use traditional textiles in their craft.
Abracito: Designing Skin-to-Skin Incubation Garments for Preemies & Micro Preemies
Abracito is a collection of cloth wraps designed to promote skin-to-skin incubation practices with critically ill newborns and low birth weight babies born in low resource environments. This case...
Abracemos lo Nuestro: Encouraging New Ideation with Traditional Paraguayan Textiles
Traditional artisan work is deeply rooted in Paraguayan cultural identity. Specifically, the traditional textiles of ñanduti, a’ó po’í, encaje jú, and po’yví promote a significant sense of pride and...
2019 Senior Soft Studio II: Pet Product Design
Senior Industrial Design Students
Senior ID students were challenged to design a collection of pet products for a specific animal category of their choosing. Animal behaviors, various life stage needs, and species/breed considerations...