Advocacy 

ASID Announces 2015 Transform Grant Recipient

Washington, D.C. (April 9, 2015) The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Foundation today selected the recipient of its fourth annual Transform grant, an award that supports evidence‐based research surrounding the impact of interior design on physical and psychological health and wellness. This year’s grant recipient is the Center for Active Design, in collaboration with Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Steelcase and Perkins+Will. The research supported by this grant will assist in developing practical health and wellness applications for design practitioners and their clients.

We believe that innovative research is essential to transformative design and we are honored to facilitate research about the ways design can enhance our quality of life,” said Sonya Odell, FASID, ASID Foundation Chair. “ASID and the ASID Foundation have a strong history of supporting academic and industry partners to build an unparalleled body of interior design knowledge.”

This collaborative research will study the impact of adjustable workstations on employee health and wellness as measured by perceived stress and sedentary behavior and the sustainability of observed behavioral changes. Using dynamic micro-polling, indoor location awareness and self-reported questionnaires, the outcomes of this research will contribute to the development of a set of guidelines titled Active Design: Workplace Well-being and will provide a better understanding of the impact of active design elements on sedentary behavior, wellness and engagement in the workplace.

"The Center for Active Design is delighted to convene an exemplary team of health researchers and design professionals to undertake original research at the forefront of the workplace well-being movement,” said Joanna Frank, executive director, Center for Active Design. “The findings from this ASID Foundation funded initiative will be used to develop and disseminate practical implementation strategies, elevating the role of design as a transformative tool to impact health.”

Dr. Elizabeth Garland, principal investigator, Icahn School of Medicine, Mt. Sinai, shared Frank’s enthusiasm.

"This project represents the intersection of interior design and total employee wellness,” Dr. Garland said. "We are excited to launch this inter-professional project to examine the positive health impact of adjustable desks in workplace design.”

“Perkins+Will believes that the best design decisions are informed by research,” said John Haymaker, director of research. “We will be conducting this research in our own workplace and are certain that we’ll be able to prove our theories for improving physical health, mental performance and happiness.”

The ASID Foundation will award $100,000 to fund this project. Grants are made possible through the support of the Donghia Foundation.

Eighteen proposals were submitted in application for the grant. ASID selected five finalists based on their alignment with the ASID Foundation’s mission. Those finalists were reviewed by a jury of industry experts and design researchers, including Derek Yack of the Vitality Group; Mark Vegas of AEGIS Health Security; Charles Blumberg of National Institutes of Health; Michael Roizen of the Wellness Institute of the Cleveland Clinic; Tama Duffy Day of Gensler; and Susan Szenasy of Metropolis. The ASID Foundation Board of Trustees selected the recipient based on the recommendations of the jury.

"Elevating employee well-being is key to unlocking human and organizational potential,” said James Brewer of Steelcase. “We are honored to be part of an excellent team of thought leaders who, thanks to the funding provided by this ASID Foundation Grant, will be able to further contribute to our understanding of the connections between well-being and the built environment.”

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As the leading interior design organization, the American Society of Interior Designers is dedicated to advancing the profession of interior design. The ASID Foundation supports endeavors that capture and disseminate knowledge, encourage innovation and benefit the health, safety and welfare of the public through interior design research, scholarships and education. ASID Foundation initiatives include Transform, an applied research grant program; a partnership with The 1% program and National Building Museum; and REGREEN, a collaborative project with the U.S. Green Building Council. Learn more at asidfoundation.org.

 
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    The impact of Adjustable Workstations on employee health will be researched as a result of the 2015 Transform grant award. Image: Steelcase.