The ASID Foundation has a number of annual scholarships and grant opportunities available to expand research and knowledge around the impact of interior design on behavior, health, and well-being. Meet the 2021 ASID Foundation scholarship and grant recipients.
Colorado State University
Dr. Jain Kwon is the director of the SPACE (Spatial Perception and Cognitive Experience) Research Lab and an assistant professor of interior architecture and design at Colorado State University. Her research areas include: 1) spatial perception and cognition; 2) environmental phenomenology and body-awareness; and 3) symbolic interaction and meaning of place. Her interdisciplinary research collaboration encompasses multiple disciplines, including interior design, behavioral sciences, cognitive sciences, communication, healthcare, neurorehabilitation, and social sciences. Dr. Kwon integrates experimental phenomenology into the methodological framework for her research implementing various technologies, including eye tracking, EEG, and immersive VR, to investigate multisensory experiences and spatial perception and cognition. As a licensed interior designer, her work emphasizes the application of research findings in design practice specializing in institutional and commercial settings posited in the larger context of built environments.
We propose to expand upon our successful undergraduate research activities to develop a neurodesign program to provide students with experiential learning opportunities through interdisciplinary research and design practicum concerning occupant health and well-being. The neuroscientific approach has informed research about cognitive responses to constructed environments, but educational implementation has been minimal—especially in real-world design applications concerning end-user experience. With increasing emphasis on evidence-based design in the industry, interior design students must be prepared to help lead those efforts. Our proposed neurodesign program will engage students at varying levels, including undergraduate and graduate, in empirical research and evidence-based design projects focused on occupant health, safety, and well-being. The student team will work with the interdisciplinary faculty team and building stakeholders. The program’s projects will engage experts in interior design, cognitive sciences, communication, behavioral psychology, kinesiology, and occupational therapy. Research activities will utilize eye tracking, electroencephalography, immersive virtual and augmented reality, and computerized dynamic posturography. The program will be designed intentionally to transition between groups of students participating from semester to semester to create continuity in the program and practicum experiences. As an experiential learning program, it will inform students about the application of empirical research as an efficacious intervention that can help design practitioners improve interior occupants’ experiences and promote health, safety, and well-being.
Savannah College of Art and Design
Roshni Parthasarathy is an architect from the city of Mumbai, India. Her interests in architecture and design began at a young age with a fascination in the configuration of spaces and the environments around them. Parthasarathy is currently getting her master’s in interior design at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). Her MFA graduate thesis is on the impact that interior design has the potential to create and the design and creation of spaces that focus on the physical and psychological well-being of individuals.
The thesis paper outlines the methods, approaches, and processes adopted to explore the effects of interior design on the psychological behavior and state of rape survivors irrespective of their gender. The aim of the research is to discover, and if possible, provide better insight on the effects that interior design and its theories and principles have on the psychological behavior and development of rape survivors. With the understanding that many people go through and handle emotions like depression and anxiety for a variety of reasons, the research aims at exploring the scope of these emotions specific to that of rape survivors.
Considering the inclusion of all the genders, the research aims to approach the topic in a multitude of ways that include qualitative, quantitative, and creative methods to obtain and underline the facts and information required to move the research and study forward. The ultimate goal of the thesis is to design spaces that focus on the psychological health and wellness of the rape survivors. The design stems out of detailed research of the behavioral patterns of rape survivors and incorporates aspects of environmental behavioral theory in the design. The project is currently at a conceptual and schematic development stage with preliminary design and concept ideas introduced in the research paper.
Adeleh Nejati, AIA, PhD, LEED AP, WELL AP, EDAC is an Associate Principal and Senior Healthcare Planner and Researcher with HMC Architects in San Francisco. Driven to enhancing the human experience in healthcare environments for patients, families, and staff, Dr. Nejati received a doctorate in healthcare architecture from Texas A&M University. Her doctoral dissertation on “Restorative Design Features for Hospital Staff Break Areas” is published in numerous peer-reviewed journals receiving awards by the International Academy for Design and Health, and the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). Previously with architecture firms HKS and HOK respectively, Dr. Nejati served as a healthcare planner and researcher on a variety of projects including Stanford Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, USC Norris Cancer Center, and a 1.5 million square-foot cancer hospital and specialized outpatient clinic facility in Hong Kong.
A cancer diagnosis can turn lives upside down. To truly understand and improve the healthcare experience for patients with cancer, we recently conducted an in-depth study with individuals who have either been patients themselves or had a family member in treatment. Their stories have become our lessons and their journeys will inform how we design the cancer care facilities of tomorrow. In this study, we implemented a unique methodology – patient experience mapping – to understand and visualize a cancer patient’s journey. In a series of detailed interviews, we asked our participants about their feelings, thoughts, and actions during each stage of care, along with their perspectives on how different touchpoints including people, places, and technology have impacted their experiences. We mapped their journeys to visualize patient pain points and needs. Finally, we analyzed their journeys to identify gaps and generate new solutions to enhance the patient experience. The study deliverables, a research report and two videos, discuss how technology, innovations in cancer treatments, and emerging cancer care delivery models impact the design of future cancer centers, using examples from research and practice.
Savannah College of Art and Design
Juyong Song is an interior design graduate student at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), and was recently selected as one of this year’s top 50 graduating students from Metropolis Magazine’s 2021 Future 100 competition. She received a bachelor’s degree in interior design from Duksung Women’s University in Seoul, South Korea. Song is currently working on her MFA graduate thesis on a sustainable healthcare environment and the application of an integrated care model. Her areas of research include creating a new prototype for an integrated-care model in outpatient settings, and interactive medical space design for facilitating autonomy in medical decision-making for patients and physicians.
Savannah College of Art and Design
(Sabrina) Seoyun Bae
(Sabrina) Seoyun Bae is a collaborative, strategy-oriented senior interior design student at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). Committed to creating purposeful and functional interior solutions, Bae aims for human-centered design by utilizing research, innovation, and functionality to benefit the community as a whole. The artistry of understanding the client’s story, diligently finding balance and depth, and adding the right components within those layers creates a unique experience, and contributing to the clients' health, safety, and welfare is what excites her most.
ASID wishes to thank the jury for dedicating their time to reviewing scholarship submissions and choosing the awardees.