The American Society of Interior Designers Foundation (ASIDF) has announced the recipients of its sixth annual Transform Grant. The annual award funds evidence-based research projects that investigate the impact of interior design on a particular topic. This year the topic is designing spaces to support well-being for all.
The seed grant of $30,000 is awarded to an interdisciplinary team from Virginia Tech for their proposal to identify cost-effective ways to design and modify homes to make active living and aging in place a viable option for low-income seniors. The research grant of $70,000 is awarded to HKS for their proposal to build a sensory well-being hub at Lane Tech College Prep High School in Chicago and to test the impact of the built environment on high school students with low-functioning autism and other behavioral disabilities.
"The research of the 2017 Transform Grant recipients will broaden interior design knowledge on two key issues: how design can impact low-income seniors who wish to age in place, and how it can help young adults with developmental issues live a better life," said ASID Foundation Chair Patrick Schmidt, FASID. "The results have the potential to improve well-being for all and to strengthen the knowledge base for all who design spaces."
Seed Grant Award: Virginia Tech
The team will gather data on seniors' perceptions and attitudes on interior design features and ambient assistive technologies (low- and high-tech) that would support active living for low-income older adults, beyond basic accessibility factors. The knowledge gained from the seed project will inform the design and construction of a transportable home environment to collect more data and educate the community to foster healthy, active behaviors at home. Virginia Tech plans to use the results to develop design guidelines for healthy residences that support active lifestyles, and policy recommendations for the physical, social, and financial well-being of older populations.
Research Project Award: HKS, Inc.
Through scientific evidence, observational field research, and the input of experts, the research team at HKS, Inc. will design a sensory well-being hub that can help adolescents and young adults with developmental disabilities recover from sensory stressors, refocus on learning, and return to a sustained state of equilibrium. The flexible/adaptable structure will include a sensor network that tracks outcomes in real-time without intrusion, and the research results will aid educators in providing both stimulating and calming sensory cues to students in need of sensory well-being.