Upcoming Conference of the Environmental Design Research Association

Learn about open work environments, what makes a home welcoming, store design in psychology and how other environmental asthetiics influence our behavior

May 25–28, 2011, Chicago, IL

How does place design influence human experience and behavior? How can physical environments enhance lives?

When the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) meets at Chicago’s Palmer House hotel, May 25–28, 2011, these are exactly the sorts of questions that will be answered.

EDRA-ites focus professionally on how the forms of physical environments affect our lives—but they’re a diverse lot. Members of EDRA work to answer questions such as:

  • When are open plan work environments appropriate? What are the psychological ramifications of working in a green building?

  • How do the aesthetic elements in a hospital room influence immune system performance?

  • What classroom design features enhance elementary school age children’s academic performance? How about high schoolers? Adults?

  • What makes a home welcoming? Supportive? Culturally appropriate?

  • How does store design encourage impulse purchases or reward routine shoppers?

  • How can urban designers create places where individuals and groups flourish?

  • Why do we travel through forests or parks Upcoming Conference of the Environmental Design Research Association May 25–28, 2011, Chicago, IL the way that we do? Why does how we navigate through a space matter? 

  • How should place experiences be investigated and how should knowledge gained be reflected in physical forms?

The psychologists, interior designers, architects, sociologists, landscape architects, urban planners, anthropologists, and other place-focused professionals who are EDRA members will meet with interested others this year to discuss:

Lost in Translation: The Design Challenges Faced by Multinational Corporations

Wednesday, May 25, 8:30 a. m.–5 p. m.

Many designers and client executives are now facing the challenge of establishing and maintaining international divisions outside of their own country. These executives need to preserve their original corporate identity, yet remain sensitive to the new cultural context in which they now operate. Creating identical offices using the same processes in each locale ignores the important ways that national culture should influence the place-design process and the ultimate physical form of office environments. This event will explore the design of effective workplaces that respect and reflect national cultures. Speakers include: Gary Miciunas (Principal, Planning+ Strategies, Perkins + Will), Christine Kohlert (Managing Director, rheform, Munich; Professor of Media Design, University, Munich), Chan Seng (Principal Architect, Design-Environment Group Architects), Akikazu Kato, PhD (Professor of Architecture, Mie University Graduate School of Engineering), Sally Augustin, PhD (Principal, Design With Science)

Implementing Person-Centered Design in Healthcare: Building Connections

Wednesday, May 25, 8:30 a. m.–5 p. m.

There has been a dramatic shift over the past several decades to include patients/residents/families as active partners in care, across the full continuum of care. However, insufficient attention has been directed at the important role and positive impact of patient/family/ person-centered care, especially with respect to the design and built environment of healthcare settings. This session will highlight some of the ways in which patient/family/personcentered care is being translated throughout the creative design process across acute and long-term healthcare settings to create very positive outcomes. This intensive is made possible by the generous support of the Hulda B. and Maurice L. Rothschild Foundation. Lunch will be provided for all attendees and is sponsored by SAGE.

Speakers Include: Maggie Calkins, PhD, CAPS, EDAC; Doug Erickson, FASHE, CHFM, HFDP; Bonnie Mahon, RN, BSN, MSM; Jain Malkin, CID, AAHID, EDAC; Robert Mayer, PhD; Kim Montague, AIA, LEED AP; Ray Pentecost, DrPH, FAIA, FACHA, LEED AP; Jude Rabig, RN, PhD; Judith Rogers, PhD, MSN, RN; and Jane Rohde, AIA, FIIDA, ACHA, AAHID.

Sustainable Charette: Fully Integrated Thinking

Wednesday, May 25, 8:30 a. m.–5 p. m.
Organized by Colin Rohlfing, Senior Associate, Sustainable Design Leader, HOK

The creation of the built environment will someday revolve around the idea of Fully Integrated Thinking (FIT)—a living systems tool that reflects the Biomimicry Guild’s “Life Principles.” It aligns and interconnects currently disconnected systems and decisionmaking processes through rethinking, and repositioning a city as one system or ecosystem. By thinking of the city as an ecosystem we are able to align with both the wisdom and genius of the place (the natural environment), and how we have settled that place. It helps us fit-in by modeling nature’s local best practices, and leveraging those latent strategies and opportunities. Nature leaves a place better than it was. How do we become a naturalized, generative species?

This charrette will focus on systems that have a correlation to the entire ecosystem of a city. Participants will be equipped with a FIT matrix and will have to utilize triple bottom line thinking and Life’s principles to create connections between city sites, visited and nonvisited. The ultimate goal of the charrette is to establish goals, strategies and connections for the FIT systems that will benefit multiple sites around the city, whether built or vacant.

Wishful Thinking or Welcome Change? Scrutinizing New Workplace Beliefs

Friday, May 27, 10:30 a. m.–12 p. m.

Workplace innovation draws on assumptions about changes in the nature of work, people, business, and technology. Projected benefits of new workplaces are based on beliefs about the effects of places on human performance, satisfaction, and health. They seem true—but is there evidence? How much is wishful thinking? How much is visioning for the future? Does experience prove these beliefs are the right road to success? Provocative presentations will explore common beliefs underpinning workplace design including: Collaborative work is more important than individual work; Seeing and hearing work activities keeps people connected and collaborative; People can work anywhere; Change management eases acceptance of workplace innovation; Older generations should adopt newer generations’ ways of working.

Speakers include: Ellen Keable (National Workplace Strategies Leader, Jacobs Engineering); Sally Augustin, PhD (Principal, Design With Science); Tim Springer, PhD (President, HERO, Inc.); Christopher Budd (Principal, STUDIOS Architecture); and Jay Brand, PhD (Cognitive Psychologist, Haworth, Inc.)

Design Practitioner Professional Development: Writing and Administering Surveys

Friday, May 27, 8 a. m.– 9 a. m.

Design practitioners need a range of different information to do their jobs well, and often collect at least some of it using surveys. Attend for realistic insights and recommendations for writing and administering those surveys.

Speaker: Sally Augustin, PhD (Principal, Design With Science)

Show Me the Data: The Essential Role of Research in Making the Business Case for Building a Better Hospital

Friday, May 27, 9 a. m.–10 a. m.

At a time of enormous uncertainty and pressure on healthcare leaders, an often overlooked opportunity is the connection between the built environment of healthcare and its impact on safety and quality. The Center for Health Design (CHD) has identified more than 1,200 studies that describe how the built environment can reduce infections, falls, medication errors, unnecessary in-hospital transfers, and staff injuries.

In addition, economics is often a major barrier to incorporating cost effective building design innovations in healthcare settings. Many healthcare leaders do not fully understand the importance of balancing one time capital/construction costs with the multi-year operating cost savings of a facility. They need and want data to support the decisions they are making.

In this presentation, Sara Marberry will show how data can be used to present the business case for better building design. She will describe the Fable Hospital®, a hypothetical facility that incorporated proven design innovations based on actual research and achieved remarkable results. Marberry will also share results and examples from CHD’s Pebble Project® research initiative, in which several pioneering hospitals have used an evidencebased design process to incorporate many design innovations into their projects. She'll present several strategies for encouraging clients to fund research and examples of creative funding approaches.

Speaker: Sara O. Marberry (EVP and COO, The Center for Health Design)

The Research Funders Speak: Support for Applied and Theoretical Research

Thursday, May 26, 9 a. m.–10 a. m.

It would be wonderful to live in a world where all worthy research projects are fully funded. Unfortunately, we don’t. Speakers at this session will share information and insights on obtaining funding for applied and more theoretical research.

Funders making presentations will include: Stephanie Whitlock (Program Officer, Graham Foundation); Gary Gumpert, PhD (President, Urban Communication Foundation); Susan Drucker, PhD (Treasurer, Urban Communication Foundation; Professor, Department of Journalism/Media Studies, School of Communication, Hofstra University); Michael F. Bloom (Sustainability and Green Buildings Program Advisor, Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings [MG], U.S. General Services Administration)

Design Practitioner Professional Development: Ask the Research Experts

Saturday, May 28, 1:30 p. m.–3 p. m.

Are you a design practitioner facing a research challenge? If you are, bring your questions to this session and ask the research experts for suggestions on resolving them.

Experts available include: Sally Augustin, PhD (Principal, Design With Science); Ann Devlin, PhD (Professor, Connecticut College); and Nick Watkins, PhD (Director of Research, HOK) Watching Closely: Environmental Design Insights Courtesy of the Lincoln Park Zoo Gorillas (Friday, May 27, 1:30 pm–3:00 pm) This presentation will center on the value of close observational fieldwork in generating critical insights for environmental designers. We will present a series of exercises and sample responses to those exercises that are designed to reveal how environment constrains behavior and how behavioral data can be used, in turn, to inform habitat design. The presentation will draw from materials developed during a graduate-level sociology course taught at the Regenstein Center for African Apes at the Lincoln Park Zoo. The behaviors and habitats of Western Lowland Gorillas are the focus for this work, generated by students from the Institute of Design and the College of Architecture at IIT. At the end of the course overview, some of the students from this course will discuss their own work process and how these insights have informed other projects, now that they are engaged in other projects and/or gainfully employed in consultancies and architecture firms.

Speaker: Christina Nippert-Eng, PhD (Associate Professor of Sociology, Acting Chair, Department of Social Sciences, Illinois Institute of Technology)

Design Practitioner Professional Development: Post-Occupancy Evaluations in the Trenches

Friday, May 27, 4 p. m.–5:30 p. m.

Post occupancy evaluation was initially recognized as a formal process using the structure and methods of environmental design research. This approach to POE has become increasingly familiar to and accepted by major institutions with both individual projects and major building programs, such as the United States Postal Service, The San Francisco Public Library, and U.S. General Services Administration. However, the scope of effort to conduct such POEs tends to be more costly than most capital development programs are able to accommodate. This workshop reexamines the fundamental structure and methods used for POEs, taking the United States Postal Service Level One POE as an example of modest scope POEs, and seeks to define a basic structure and set of research methods that can be used by project managers and/or design professionals without advanced research training for useful facility evaluations at a level of effort commensurate with most capital development projects.

Speaker: Greg Allen Barker, AIA

Creating a Children’s Hospital by Engaging the City of Chicago

Thursday, May 26, 10:30 a. m.–12 p. m.

This presentation will review a unique approach to creating a healing environment by working with 23 of Chicago’s cultural icons— The Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

Speaker: Bruce Komiske (Chief, New Hospital Design and Construction, Children’s Memorial Hospital)

In addition, conference sessions will explore:

  • Diverse design contexts. People are always in a space, and sessions will cover the full range, from retail and office to healthcare, academic, and spiritual, from wild outdoor spaces to carefully cultivated public parks.

  • Important recent research. Scores of presentations and discussions of the latest place-focused research findings and tools will take place.

  • Potential partnerships with both place researchers and practitioners. These are regularly and energetically discussed before, after, and during EDRA sessions.

EDRA is seeking CEU status for conference presentations from AIA, IDCEC, LA CES, and the American Planning Association. The online schedule will indicate which sessions people can attend to earn credits through each of these systems. This information will also be available at the CEU awarders’ websites.

Register to attend all four days of the conference or just one. A full program of events (reflecting any schedule modifications) and information about the conference hotel are also available through that website.

Attend EDRA’s 2011 annual meeting to learn about new research findings and research tools, to find out about recent design projects, and to meet potential colleagues with similar interests. Savor evidence-based design at the 2011 EDRA conference—design that makes a difference in people’s lives.

View additional information or contact Dr. Sally Augustin.