ASID Foundation announces the recipients of its 2020 research grants

The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Foundation has announced the recipients of its 2020 Research Grants. The goal of the ASID Foundation Research Grants is to further implement research into practice by funding projects that result in actionable design principles, guidelines and/or tools that design professionals can apply to their projects.

The 2020 program sought research related to the topics of: 1) Design Equity, Social Justice & Inclusion and 2) Adaptive Environments Designed for Change (Human Resilience).

“Research in design is critical more than ever,” comments ASID Foundation Chair Carolyn Ames Noble, ASID, WELL AP, WELL Faculty. “We are honored to support research that puts focus on people in need that can greatly benefit from evidence-based design. The resources generated from these projects will propel designers to make informed decisions in their projects that will make a positive difference to many.”

The 2020 awardees are:

How Design can Support and Help Heal People Experiencing Trauma ($10K Award)
Co-PI: Pam Light, Senior Principal, HOK
Co-PI: Rachel Rouse, Director of Interiors, HOK
Research Team:
HOK, Vituity, United Way of Greater Los Angeles – Pam Light, Rachel Rouse, Deborah Sperry, Dee Dee Bonds, Dr. Scott Zeller, Sarah Geske, Jordan Dunn, Dalma Diaz, Chris Ko, Dr. Sally Augustin

This study will present design guidelines that support those experiencing trauma (e.g., depression, anxiety, homelessness, etc.) by refining a recently developed tool, adding impacts from the COVID-19 era and producing a video that demonstrates the guideline’s implementation while tracking outcomes of its use.

“Team HOK is thrilled to partner with the United Way and Vituity in receiving the ASID Foundation Research Grant to promote Design Equity, Social Justice & Inclusion. We believe that our research into how design can support and help heal people experiencing trauma will be vital to creating a more equitable future.  We are excited to expand the reach of this research across North America by partnering with shelter facilities in Los Angeles, Dallas, Atlanta, Toronto and beyond,” states Rouse.

Healthy Affordable Housing Toolkit: Addressing the Interior Adaptability of Affordable Housing During COVID ($20K Award)
Co-PI: Dr. Erika Eitland, Research Analyst, Perkins & Will 
Co-PI: Stephen Messinger, Project Architect, Senior Associate, Perkins & Will
Research Team: 
Perkins & Will – Dr. Erika Eitland, Stephen Messinger, Marc Asnis, Angelos Siampakoulis, Corrie Chamberlin

This study will conduct post-occupancy and community participatory studies that will identify modifiable interior design elements and support the development of design tools tailored for affordable housing focused on the daily life, health, and safety of vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Messinger says, “Perkins&Will is honored to be a recipient of this grant awarded by the ASID Foundation and beyond excited to embark on this research. This is a unique opportunity to connect our passion for design excellence with current research efforts in our Housing Affordability Lab. People who are housing insecure are being disproportionately affected by the pandemic and the lessons learned from this exploration could improve health and wellbeing outcomes for our most vulnerable populations.”

Concludes Noble, “Both topics are exceptionally meaningful and relevant. I am honored to be leading the Foundation that pushes the interior design industry towards more inclusive and future-facing perspectives, and I am thrilled that we have identified honorees whose work will have such a strong impact.”

To review the winning projects, visit