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 2019 ASID Foundation scholarship and grant recipients.
School of Interiors
University of Kentucky
NCIDQ certified, LEED accredited, and an award-winning educator, Helen Turner is an assistant professor in the School of Interiors at the University of Kentucky, where her interest and experience centers on sustainability, materials, theory, and history which expand the notions of interior design beyond four walls, generating work that has been presented at national and international conferences, exhibited, and published in peer-reviewed journals.
Department of Interior Architecture and Design
Florida State University
Stephanie Sickler is an assistant professor and Foundations Coordinator in the Department of Interior Architecture and Design at Florida State University. A primary focus of her classes is exposing design students to rich programming experiences through experiential learning and collaboration with community partners. She teaches undergraduate interior design courses in design foundations, materials, and visual merchandising.
Materials are fundamental to the education and practice of interior design. Pedgley and Rognoli state: “Painters paint with pigment; writers paint with words; designers paint with materials” (2013). Selection of materials is not limited to colors or patterns, but necessitates knowledge of physics and material properties as they relate to health, safety, and welfare (Farrelly & Brown, 2012). Tied to almost every decision an interior designer makes, materials impact human psychology and experience through indoor air quality, acoustics, and thermal comfort, to name a few. Improper selection of ‘interior content,’ as noted by the research of Katherine Setser, can result in tragedy (2010). Recognizing the importance and connection of materials to interior design, specifically as they relate to health, safety, and welfare, this grant proposes research and dissemination of leading and innovative materials to interior design educators and programs. “Materials,” in this regard, are not only those elements that construct and finish a space, but also the constructivist and experiential pedagogical tools that create deeper learning and aptitude for application. Adopting the successful subscription retail model, the intent of this project is to create a MATERIAL-BOX program that could regularly provide educators and students with “fresh” and current materials, both in terms of physical samples and educational activities.
Laura Harris is a registered interior designer with over nine years of commercial interior design experience. She graduated with a BFA in Interior Design from Samford University and received an MFA in Interior Design from Brenau University in 2019. A LEED Accredited Professional and NCIDQ certified, Laura is a volunteer on the board of the IIDA Alabama Chapter, which coordinates professional events for the interior design community including joint ventures with the ASID and the Alabama Interior Design Coalition. Laura currently works with Capstone Real Estate Investments which provides design and procurement services for student housing facilities across the country. She works closely with the company’s developer partners as well as university management and owners to create functional furniture plans, select high quality furnishings, coordinate fabrics and interior finishes, facilitate purchasing, and manage the installation process. Laura hopes to expand her career by utilizing her graduate degree to instruct the next generation of interior designers.
Research indicates that social development is important for the health of adolescents, suggesting a need for additional interior design methods in educational facility planning that encourage student engagement. The purpose of this study is to determine the degree to which middle school educators perceive the built environment of secondary educational facilities influencing the social development of adolescents. A qualitative research study utilizing a case study methodology was established to delve into educator perceptions regarding the correlation between student social engagement and educational facility design. There were nine educators from seven educational facilities in the research sample. All educators taught seventh through ninth grade near Birmingham, Alabama. Data was collected through a combination of interviews and site visits. The research was analyzed using a general inductive approach, and three significant findings emerged. First, all the participants indicated that the built environment of an educational facility is important to student social development. Second, the participants identified five elements and principles of design that influence student social development: acoustics, color and visual complexity, lighting and windows, furniture, and space and ceiling heights. Third, the participants identified six areas of an educational facility that impact social development: classrooms, outdoor spaces, hallways and locker areas, libraries and theaters, gymnasiums, and auxiliary meeting spaces. It is intended that these findings will lead to more effective educational design practices that benefit adolescent students and the interior design community.
Peace Design/SCAD Atlanta
Amanda Grace Hunter
Originally from Columbia, South Carolina, Amanda Grace Hunter studied Historic Preservation and Community Planning at the College of Charleston, where she fell in love with the building arts and gained intern experience at restoration, architectural, and interior design firms. As a junior design assistant, she was accepted to the Masters of Interior Design program at SCAD-Atlanta where she currently studies. She is also an intern at Peace Design in Atlanta.
There have been over 100 reported incidents of school shootings throughout the U.S. since the Columbine murders in 1999. There is minimal research and few programs in place for students who have suffered through the violence and live with PTSD. The National Institute of Mental Health explains that there are multiple ways that people deal with PTSD in accordance to their distinct personality and experiences. One of the listed symptoms of PTSD is avoidance symptom which is defined as “staying away from places, events, or objects that are reminders of the traumatic experience.” The problem is seen through the lack of facility prototype and space planning of a restorative environment for adolescents who suffer from PTSD which ultimately inhibits their performance in the classroom and has a negative impact on their education. “Decreased IQ and reading ability, lower grade-point average (GPA), more days of school absence, and decreased rates of high school graduation have been associated with exposure to traumatic events” (Delaney-Black, 2002). The purpose of this study is to understand how to create a safe environment that can foster the healing process in adolescents that have experienced trauma after a mass shooting. It is necessary per the research to understand how high school students interact within an educational environment after a traumatic event. Through research, it is important to understand how interior design can create a restorative built environment to assist students who need to go back to school, yet suffer from PTSD by creating trauma-informed guidelines for designers.
Georgia Southern University
Beth McGee, Ph.D., Allied ASID
Beth McGee is a designer, researcher, and educator. She has her NCIDQ, is a LEED AP, and is licensed as an interior designer in Florida. She teaches at Georgia Southern University where she is the program coordinator for Interior Design. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Florida in the College of Design Construction and Planning with a concentration in interior design. Beth’s research has concentrated on developing her innovative Biophilic Interior Design Matrix to facilitate interior nature integration for optimal wellness for both people and the planet, specifically in regard to interior design. This Matrix helps to fill the gap in aiding designers and students when attempting to apply and identify biophilic design in the interior. She was recently nominated as an NIH Health in Buildings Roundtable Scholar and presented the BIDM at the 2018 HiBR conference in Bethesda, Maryland. The BIDM (formerly BDM) has inspired several thesis and dissertation work and has been adapted by interior design educators in multiple schools within multiple courses. The goal for the BIDM is to support well-being through optimizing nature within evidence-based design.
People innately need to connect with nature. Active and passive connections to nature are beneficial to human health. Biophilic design offers a type of “neurological nourishment” in applying nature to the built environment and offers health benefits which require organized complexity, like nature offers. Stephen Kellert proposed a list of biophilic attributes (2008) which he used to develop the Biophilic Design Matrix (BDM) to operationalize biophilic design for interior designers in 24 different spaces. The study further refined BDM through a participatory design that used designer's feedback, including a request for online access. The revision process included a systematic instrument development with cognitive interviews of expert interior designers. Cognitive interviews offer proven benefits for instrument development and aid validity and reliability, incorporating user needs to fine-tune the language, avoid jargon, improve ease of use, and then further test with 24 designers. Each designer completed a pre- and post-questionnaire surrounding their use of the BDM. The results show the revised BDM has strong reliability (α = .94). Designers’ knowledge about biophilic design increased after use, with one designer responding that the BDM “is a valuable reference tool as we approach wellness goals of the space.” It was further tested with students in a studio course who increased their knowledge, confidence, and perceptions of the importance of biophilic design. The outcomes show that the designer driven tool is not a checklist but a language useful throughout the design process, and an educational aid.
Master of Interior Architecture
Cal Poly Pomona
Seammala Sun, Student ASID
Seammala Sun is a graduate student in the Master of Interior Architecture program at Cal Poly Pomona, and a graduate of the UCLA Extension Interior Architecture foundation program. She was born in a refugee camp in Thailand after the Khmer Rouge forced her family out of Cambodia. She and her mother were relocated to the U.S. where she attended a boarding school designed by Thomas Ustick Walter. These experiences defined her desire to create different types of spaces where people could enjoy themselves and experience intuitively good design. As a student, she served on the ASID UCLA Extension student chapter as the graphics and social media chairperson and led the design and installation of therapy spaces for outpatient care at the Alcoholism Center for Women in the Pico-Union district of Los Angeles. Seammala recently participated in an ASID LA chapter charrette design competition where she was awarded the $10K grand prize, and has received a NEWH scholarship.
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design
Emily Rayna Shaw
Emily Rayna Shaw is a junior at Endicott College studying interior design with a minor in dance. She is fascinated by the human experience and the implementation of creativity within built spaces. Her hard work and dedication to attending events has provided her with amazing networking opportunities. Emily is the head of the IIDA Fashion Show team for Endicott’s Interior Design Club, holds four work positions, is a member of Endicott’s Dance Ensemble, and volunteers for community service projects whenever possible.
ASID wishes to thank the jury for dedicating their time to review scholarship submissions and choose the awardees.