Texas Tech University

Kristi Gaines, Ph.D., IIDA, IDEC

Chair, Professor - Department of Design, Associate Dean - Graduate School
Interior Design

Email: kristi.gaines@ttu.edu

Phone: (806) 834-4699

Office: HS 211A/103B

Kristi Gaines is an Associate Dean of the Graduate School and Professor in the Department of Design. Through research that investigates ways built environments can accommodate diverse populations through design, Gaines has achieved national recognition as a leader in designing learning environments and other spaces for individuals with sensory sensitivities and developmental disorders. She is also co-founder of the Texas Tech University Coalition for Natural Learning and is a member of a state-wide leadership team, created by the Texas Department of State Health Services, to implement an outdoor learning environment health intervention in Texas.  Gaines' book, Designing for Autism Spectrum Disorders, was recognized with awards from the four leading organizations for interior and environmental design. With more than two decades of professional interior design and teaching experience, Gaines has served in leadership roles in industry organizations including the Interior Design Educators Council and the International Interior Design Association. She is a member of the Teaching Academy and is an inaugural graduate of the President's Leadership Institute at Texas Tech University.

Kristi Gaines

Research Focus

Published in numerous academic journals, Gaines' research investigates the impact of learning environments for people of all abilities in the United States, United Kingdom and Malawi, Africa. A current project combines neuroscience and augmented reality visualization using fMRI technology to compare the behavioral and neural responses for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. She has also teamed up with researchers in apparel design and manufacturing to develop functional clothing for children with sensory integrative differences. Most recently, she was awarded the Chancellor's Council Distinguished Research Award and the President's Emerging Engaged Scholarship Award.

Areas of Expertise

  • Environmental design of inclusive environments
  • Environmental design of learning environments
  • Inclusive design for the senses

Selected Publications

Gaines, K., Bourne, A., Pearson, M., Kleibrink, M. (2016) Designing for Autism Spectrum Disorders. Routledge. New York. ISBN-10: 0415725275 ISBN-13: 978-0415725279

Colwell, M., Gaines, K., Pinson, M., Corson, K. (2016). Space, Place, and Privacy: Preschool Children's Secret Hiding Places. Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal. (44)4.

Gharaveis, A., Shepley, M. M., & Gaines, K. (2016). The Role of Daylighting in Skilled Nursing Short-Term Rehabilitation Facilities. HERD: Health Environments Research & Design Journal9(2), 105-118.

Gaines, K., Curry, Z., Shroyer, J., Amor, C., Lock, R. (2014). The perceived effects of classroom design and features on students with autism spectrum disorders. Journal  of Architectural Planning and Research. (31:4) 282-298.

Gaines, K., Bergan, L., Curry, Z. (2014). Full spectrum classroom design. The International Journal of Learner Diversity and Identities (Volume 20) 15-28.

Gaines, K., Sancibrian, S. (2014). The effects of environmental noise on the behavior of children with ASD.  The International Journal of Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design (Volume 7, Issue 2), 51-64.

Aburas, R., Gaines, K., Shin, S. (2014). Physical and psychosocial factors in classroom design for elementary level schools. The International Journal of Early Childhood Learning. (Vol. 20), 19-35.

Shabha, G. & Gaines, K (2013) "A comparative analysis of transatlantic design interventions for therapeutically enhanced learning environments – Texas vs West Midlands", Facilities, Vol. 31 Issue 13/14, pp.634 – 658.

Gaines, K., Curry, Z. (2011). The effects of color on learning and behavior. Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences Education, 29(1).







Department of Design