Research Team

Lisa Onaga (PI) IMG_5537 copy
Assistant Professor of History, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University. Onaga researches the historical development of sericultural knowledge in Japan and how silk craft practices relate to transnational sciences and technologies between the 19th and 21st centuries. The investigator is a member of the Materiability Research Network ( and leads the Proteins & Fibers: Scaffolding Histories with Molecular Signatures working group at Dep. III Artefacts, Action and Knowledge, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science.
Contact: Lonaga (at)

LauraForlanoLaura Forlano
Assistant Professor, Design at the Institute of Design and Affiliated Faculty, College of Architecture, Illinois Institute of Technology. Forlano is Director of the Critical Futures Lab. One of Forlano’s current research projects focuses on recent developments in computational fashion including digital fabrication and wearable technologies in order to understand relationships between the digital and the material, the past and the future, and the natural and the artificial. Her collaborative project “Code to Ware” with Minna Kao and Amy Sperber was featured in “Re-making Patterns,” an exhibition held by Eyebeam and Shapeways during Fashion Week in New York in September 2015. and

amck_IMG_20160129_123116Anne McKnight
Associate Professor, Department of English Language & Literature, Shirayuri College. Researches “sustainability”–design, urban reality, and social movements of modern and contemporary Japan and has experience in developing experiential learning projects.


Galina Mihaleva galina photo
Assistant Professor, School of Art, Design and Media, NTU. Her work and research examines the idea of the body having both a physical and a psychological relationship with responsive, wearable technology.





image1 copyEmily Anderson
Independent researcher, museum consultant, and avid knitter. Having received her PhD in modern Japanese history from UCLA in 2010, she was assistant professor of Japanese history at Washington State University (Pullman, Washington) from 2010-2014, and postdoctoral fellow at University of Auckland in 2014. She is the author of Christianity in Modern Japan: Empire for God (Bloomsbury, 2014) and the editor of Belief and Practice in Imperial Japan and Colonial Korea (Palgrave MacMillan, 2017) as well as a number of articles and book chapters on religion and imperialism in Japan and the Pacific. She also has extensive experience working on museum exhibits, most recently Cannibals: Myth and Reality (San Diego Museum of Man, 2015-ongoing). She is currently developing a line of knitted accessories inspired by Japanese design aesthetics using Scandinavian techniques.

Laura Longo_DMS_OK Laura Longo
Dealing with past human behaviours as an anthropologist she became interested in developing research that helps in making human knowledge more inclusive and more universal. Dealing with archaeological collections comes to be an outstanding example of how successful integration between humanities and science can deal with the complexity of human behaviour and of coupled human-ecological systems comprehension. She also worked as a museum professional for about 20 years her trans-disciplinary attitude promoted activities to bridge the lack of communication between scientific and humanistic cultural approaches, and this approach persuades her professional life as museums Curator. This approach to museum collections guidance is deeply embedded in the strategies for their valorisation, integrating humanities and science to deal with the complexities amidst biological development and cultural behaviour and comes out in her scientific production.

Research Assistants:
Delfinn Tan_398x398

Delfinn Tan is a Ph.D. candidate in the Interdisciplinary Graduate School of NTU. Originally trained in biology, Delfinn is pursuing a doctoral project on the development of the koi ornamental fish business in Singapore in the late twentieth century. (2015, Sem. I)

SSanchir 5x5anchir Enkhzol is an undergraduate student in bioengineering at NTU who has been assisting with the research of archival documents about sericulture in Taiwan during the Japanese colonial period and the history of silk sutures. He is extremely interested in medical technologies, especially the electrocardiogram. (2015-present)

Nicole Ong Yii Mei is an undergraduate student in History at NTU and a student Microscopist who has been assisting with the research about the history of biomaterials and documenting silk samples using the VHX Digital Microscope: VHX-5000 and photography. She is passionate about the Arts and contributed various sketches for the pattern book and assist with the making of the prototype with the embroideries. (2016-present)

passport photoOng Xin Hong is an undergraduate student in the School of Art, Design, and Media at NTU who will assist with the making of the prototype with silk samples. As a product design major, she is enthusiastic in the exploration of design and technology in both traditional and novel techniques. (2017-present)


lum-xinyi1.jpg Lum Xinyi is a final year Visual Communication undergraduate with a penchant for the spaces between your words, and a strong fear of balloons. (2017-present)



Team Photo:
From left to right: Galina Mihaleva, Aishah, Xin hong, Lisa Onaga, Nicole Ong, Laura Longo.