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Rebekah Matheny

Associate Professor with Tenure, Department of Design, Interior Design

The Ohio State University

Country or State

United States


Educated as an interior and architectural designer, I have been bridging the design profession and academic environment for the past 12+ years. This balance allows me to bring a holistic approach to design that is rooted in accomplishing the goals of the client while maintaining the theoretical and idealist ambitions that design academia fosters. Prior to my appointment at OSU, I practiced in a multidisciplinary retail and brand strategy firm here in Columbus Ohio. While at WD Partners, I created inspired retail brand environments for nationally and internationally recognized brands. Previously I have taught at the University of Oregon and University of Colorado to name a few. As an educator I bring the experience of teaching a range of courses both technical and conceptual, seminar and studio. My unique balance of functional and emotional allows me to bring a forward thinking strategic approach to my teaching and research. My research interests include the pedagogical approach to interior materials for the millennial student, sustainable material applications, and innovations in interior materials. I am currently investigating the sensory perception of interior materials and how their application in various design typologies such as healthcare, workplace, hospitality, and retail can create emotional connections to place. Currently I am investigating how this senatorial perception in retail design creates an emotional connection between the customer and the brand. I am interested in how materials play a role in creating authentic retail storytelling, particularly for generous brands and connecting to millennials' and Gen Z. I write a monthly article for VMSD Magazine on addressing these topics which can be read at and follow me and my journey with materials on Instagram @rebekahmathenydesign and to start a dialogue about the sensory experience of materials visit her website

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Current Position

Associate Professor with Tenure, Department of Design, Interior Design at The Ohio State University


MArch (Architecture), Technical Teaching Certificate - Sustainable Design - Lighting and Materials

Past Talks

NeoCon 2022