Transform Research Grant Program


Interior design transforms environments in ways that improve human outcomes. Interior designers are ethically, socially, and environmentally responsible professional who design, renovate, and provide design services that transform built environments. The ASID Foundation is proud to recognize all of the Transform grant recipients and their work below.

Funding for the Transform Research Grant program is made possible by the Donghia Foundation.


K-12 Schools Trauma-Informed Design Evaluation Tool Development (for and by designers and educators)

Project Overview: This project aims to have designers and educators co-collaborate with researchers to develop an interior-focused trauma-informed design evaluation tool for K-12 schools (K12TiDEval) to help heal trauma. Schools will provide input into the K12TiDEval, with insider perspective on youth behaviors and triggers, coupled with interior design evidence and perspective.

Research Team: Dr. J Davis Harte (Boston Architectural College); Janet Roche, MDS;  Christine Cowart (Cowart Trauma Informed Partnership); Molly Pierce, Pediatric Occupational Therapist; David O’Coimin (Nook Pods); Laura Shook Guzman, LMFT

Equitable & Enriched Environments to Uplift: Impacts of School Design on Wellbeing, First-Gen College Readiness, and Social and Emotional Learning 

Project Overview: This pre-/post mixed methods study will investigate how the move of a predominantly Hispanic serving Pre-K-12 school from a dense urban setting devoid of green, open space to a new location with an open green quad and enriched interior affordances transform wellbeing, academic outcomes, and college-readiness for at-risk and first-gen students.

Research Team: CADRE (Center for Advanced Design Research and Education), HKS, Uplift Education

Convergence: Laying the Groundwork for Re-purposing Distressed Urban Mall Environments for Mixed-Use Dementia Friendly City Centers

Project Overview: This study addresses the special challenge of creating sustainable communities focused on the diverse needs of a growing population of individuals with dementia. The seed-grant will support a workshop convening community stakeholders using a user-centered design approach, a survey, and focus groups for researchers to identify the convergence of factors necessary to transform distressed urban malls into re-purposed mixed-use Dementia-Friendly City Centers through the development of a set of tools and guidelines.

Research Team: Oklahoma State University

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From Illness to Health – New Venues for a Modern Care Model

Project Overview: This research aims to inform the design and planned deployment of new environments that combine medical care and social services under new innovative regional payment models. The research project implements an iterative research and design process including qualitative, in-depth observations to create prototypes, data synthesis of pattern of needs and opportunity areas to develop a strategic framework development, and testing of prototypes to ultimately build the first instantiation of a “community care hub” and establish the effectiveness of a new model of primary care.

Research Team: Design Institute for Health, University of Texas at Austin

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Active Living at Home Through Interior Design: Senior Residential Environments and Affordable Assistive Technologies

Project Overview: This study aims to identify cost-effective ways to design safe and viable living environments for low-income seniors living at home, specifically focusing on how changes to the living environment and the use of assistive technologies may facilitate a more active and healthy home life. The seed grant supports the evaluation of the interior design features and assistive technologies currently available to seniors. A transportable home environment prototype will be designed and built for further state-wide data collection and community education about healthy behaviors at home.

Research Team: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University – Elif Tural, Ph.D., Lisa M. Tucker, Ph.D., Nancy Brossoie, Ph.D., Helene Renard, Ph.D., Kathleen Meaney

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Sensory Well-being for Adolescents with Development Disorders: Creating (and testing) a Sensory Well-being Hub with a Sensthetic Approach

Project Overview: This research aims to improve the well-being of adolescents and young adults with developmental disabilities by creating and testing a sensory well-being hub to understand the impact of the built environment on this population. The hub will be a flexible and adaptable structure that provides a place to recover from stressors and refocus on learning. The hub will also serve as a living laboratory for developing interior design elements that improve the well-being of those with developmental disabilities.

Research Team: HKS, Inc. – Upali Nanda, Ph.D., Giyoung Park, Ph.D., Jonathan Essary, March

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From Learning Commons to Learning Communities: Examining the Role of Mixed-Use Learning Zones in Millennial Education

Project Overview: A multi-case study will be conducted to better understand mixed-use learning zones that blur the boundaries between commons and classrooms to support diverse stakeholder needs (students, instructors, and staff) while encouraging informal social collision and catalytic learning interactions at all scales. The evidence-based design guidelines developed from this research will help educators and designers successfully implement these spaces in practice.

Research Team: University of Florida 

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Personalized Learning, Personalized Space: How Design Can Enhance Learning, and Overall Wellbeing, To Support the One-Size-Fits-One Learning Model

Project Overview: A sensory design lab prototype fitted with environmental and human behavior sensors will be pilot-tested at a high school to study human response to interior design elements in a carefully controlled and measured environment. This portable lab can be installed in different learning environments to assess how students reconfigure personalized learning environments and how interacting with interior design elements can result in human outcomes. 

Research Team: Center for Advanced Design Research and Evaluation, HKS, Inc., Dallas Independent School District, and Herman Miller

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Stand Up to Work

Project Purpose: This study seeks to assess the impact of adjustable workstations on employee health and wellness, perceived stress and sedentary behavior, and the sustainability of observed behavioral changes.

Research Team: Center for Active Design, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Steelcase, Perkins+Will

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3C Design - Tools for Designing Connected, Collaborative, and Creative Workplaces

Project Purpose: This study seeks to identify critical evidence-based design parameters and to develop guidelines for strategic decision-makers who want to create 3C (Connected, Collaborative, and Creative) workplaces that support an organizational culture of innovation.

Research Team: Cornell University - So-Yeon Yoon, Ph.D., ASID, Alan Hedge, Ph.D., Sheila Danko

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Key Performance Indicators of Knowledge Workplace Design Promoting Knowledge Worker Performance and Economic Competitiveness

Project Purpose: This study seeks to develop a comprehensive online evaluation tool that analyzes the performance of the physical work environment in relation to the measures of innovation and economic competitiveness in knowledge-intensive organizations.

Research Team: Michigan State University - Young S. Lee, Ph.D., LEED AP ID+C, Allied ASID, Isilay Civan, M.Sc., Ph.D., LEED AP O+M, SFP, GGP, GPCP, Matthew Schottenfeld, NAB, Martha de Plazaola Abbott, LEED AP BD+C, AIA, Laverne Deckert

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Developmental Disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorder

Project Overview: This research team developed a neuro–considerate environmental design model that suggests guidelines for the design of residential and work environments to accommodate the various needs of aging adults with intellectual developmental disabilities and autism spectrum disorder.

Research Team: Texas Tech University - Kristi S. Gaines, Ph.D., Angela Bourne, Ph.D., Debajyoti Pati, Ph.D.

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Evidence-based Study of the Efficacy of a Daylight-Matching LED Luminaire in a Residence for Homeless Men

Project Purpose: This study seeks to determine the effectiveness of two alterations in lighting (red light at night and solar day-mimicking LED light cycle in combination with red light at night) on the health and well-being of homeless men housed in a residential facility managed by Project HOME. 

Research Team: Drexel University in collaboration with Project HOME - Donald L. McEachron, Ph.D., Eugenia Victoria Ellis, Ph.D., AIA, Elizabeth Gonzalez, Ph.D

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Developing a Standard Evidence-based Patient Room Interior Design Checklist and Evaluation Tool

Project Overview: The Center for Health Design (CHD) developed a standard evidence-based tool that interior designers can use for applying research to healthcare design projects and to conduct post occupancy evaluation for three types of hospital patient rooms: 

  • adult medical-surgical
  • adult intensive car
  • ematernity care (labor delivery recovery [LDR]/ labor delivery recovery postpartum [LDRP])


Research Team: The Center for Health Design - Xiaobo Quan, Ph.D., EDAC, Anjali Joseph, Ph.D., Catherine Ancheta

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Healthy Building Network / Building Green – Materials Research Collaborative

Project Overview: The Healthy Building Network and Building Green advanced the Materials Research Collaborative research agenda on interior finish products for building products specifiers to be informed with unbiased, up-to-date information about chemical hazards, practical product evaluations and comparisons, and recommendations about the healthfulness of widely-used building products via the Pharos online database and analysis system.

Research Team: Healthy Building Network & Building Green

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