Tag Archives: Foundation

ASID 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.

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

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

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

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

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


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


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



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



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


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.


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


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


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


Continue reading ASID Transform Research Grant Program


The USC Shoah Foundation in Los Angeles by Belzberg Architects Shines Light on the Darkest Events in Modern History

PROJECT NAME USC Shoah Foundation
LOCATION Los Angeles
FIRM Belzberg Architects
SQ. FT. 10,000 SQF

In 1994, a year after the release of Steven Spielberg’s movie Schindler’s List, the director founded a nonprofit organization to videotape and preserve the testimonies of survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust (or Shoah in Hebrew). Initially, its home was a series of trailers on a Universal Studios Hollywood backlot. A dozen years later, the organization relocated to the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where, renamed the USC Shoah Foundation–The Institute for Visual History and Education, it occupied cramped offices on the ground floor of the Leavey Library.

In Los Angeles, visitors interact with touch screens in the lobby of Belzberg Architects’s USC Shoah Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving survivor testimony of the Holocaust and other modern genocides. Photography by Bruce Damonte.
The visitors lounge has seating upholstered with custom fabrics printed with vivid patterns derived from traditional artifacts from Rwanda and Guatemala. Photography by Bruce Damonte.

Designing and constructing the new headquarters was a 3 1/2-year, multifaceted project, but one that was full of resonance and personal meaning for Belzberg Architects. While the firm had already shown poetic sensitivity in its 2010 design of the mostly subterranean Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, founding partner and Interior Design Hall of Fame member Hagy Belzberg can also recall hearing stories of his own father’s escape from Poland and the Nazis.

Allied Maker’s pendant fixture illuminates a table and chairs by Minimal in the distinguished guests conference room. Photography by Bruce Damonte.


The foundation’s previous chopped-up quarters had fostered tribal work habits among the permanent staff, which now numbers 82. “We aimed for an open, hyper-functional plan,” Belzberg begins. “There would be a level of scales: from neighborhoods and clusters to the larger whole,” lead architect Lindsey Sherman Contento adds, outlining the collaborative, flexible environment they envisaged, which would include opportunities of respite from the frequently harrowing work.

Nicola Anthony’s stainless-steel sculpture in a skylit area off the lobby incorporates the testimony of a Holocaust survivor. Photography by Bruce Damonte.


This dual essence—remembering hatred in order to overcome it, an endeavor at once painful and healing—is palpable right out of the elevator into the central lobby, which functions as both reception and an exhibition space. “It’s intentionally warm and dark,” Belzberg notes of this public zone, an environment designed to generate a sense of safety while providing museum-quality viewing conditions. Subdued LED light filters through perforated powder-coated-aluminum ceiling panels. Opposite the elevator bank, a wall sheathed in seven floor-to-ceiling touch screens offers a panorama of interactive content. Visitors can further explore foundation programs at freestanding digital kiosks—individual touch screens set in totemlike panels of backlit perforated aluminum framed in dark walnut—that fill the room. “It’s like walking through a forest,” Belzberg says.

In the office area, bays of bench-style workstations flank a broad pathway of carpet tiles and engineered-oak flooring. Photography by Bruce Damonte.


The tenebrous space doesn’t feel claustrophobic, however, because a broad portal at one end opens onto a semicircular skylit area that commands views of the campus and cityscape beyond. Suspended beneath the skylight, Nicola Anthony’s stainless-steel text sculpture incorporates the testimony of a Holocaust survivor. Passageways on the left and right lead to private wings.

Custom benches with upholstery patterns inspired by traditional Chinese and Armenian designs furnish “think tank” booths. Photography by Bruce Damonte.


The larger, predominantly open-plan wing houses most of the full-time staff. A broad blond pathway of engineered-oak flooring and nylon-carpet tiles cuts a diagonal swath through the light and airy work space. Right up front, a casual visitors lounge hugs the wall of windows so that its colorful ottomans and cushy lounge chairs sit in the abundant sunshine. Facing them across the central aisle is an open kitchen that, for film screenings and other events, conjoins with adjacent classroom and conference spaces via sliding glass panels. 

Panels on the lobby’s interactive kiosks are perforated bronze-anodized aluminum. Photography by Bruce Damonte.


As the pathway proceeds deeper into the office area proper, it is flanked by open bays of workstations that provide bench seating, sit-stand desks, and other individual or group work options. Every staff member has a designated place, but each “neighborhood” includes a central table that encourages collaboration. Sculptural built-in banquettes, finished in gleaming white paint, line one section of the path, which culminates in what Belzberg calls the “think tank”—a quiet space divisible by pocket doors into two separate niches.

Molded MDF with bronze insets forms custom banquettes and standing-work desks. Photography by Bruce Damonte.


The smaller wing accommodates distinguished guests and researchers needing the privacy of enclosed rooms. It also has facilities for recording and editing survivor testimonies—the most compelling example of which can be viewed in the distinguished guests lounge: Here, Pinchas Gutter, a Polish survivor born in 1932, appears as a life-size interactive-screen image to tell his story and answer viewers’ questions with the help of AI.

Sliding glass panels open the kitchen and adjacent classroom space for large events. Photography by Bruce Damonte.


The wing is notable for its tranquil, light-filled atmosphere. “Early on, we learned that trauma victims can be sensitive to certain triggers,” interior design lead Jennifer Wu explains, which determined the calm, neutral palette with particularly thoughtful textile and wall-covering choices. “We called for artwork and artifacts from affected countries and used them as inspiration for digitally printed patterns.” Examples appear on lounge seating, pedestal cushions, and phone-booth walls.

In the distinguished guests lounge, custom acoustic panels, installed in a custom pattern, span the wall and ceiling around an interactive display of ?a Holocaust survivor. Photography by Bruce Damonte.


Despite the overwhelmingly painful histories with which the foundation must deal, its aura remains positive and hopeful. “We were able to avoid genocide tropes,” Belzberg says. “There is no manipulated emotional response.” With perseverance, study and education will preserve the past and help prevent its recurrence.

Project Team: Cory Taylor; Ashley Coon; Adrian Cortez; Barry Gartin; Aaron Leshtz; Corie Saxman; J. Joshua Hanley; Alexis Roohani; Susan Nwankpa Gillespie; Katelyn Miersma; Melissa Yip: Belzberg Architects. Egg Office: Custom Signage. Maude Group: Exhibition Consultant. Mad Systems: Audiovisual Consultant. Newson Brown Acoustics: Acoustics Consultant. Burohappold Engineering: Lighting Consultant, Structural Engineer, MEP. USC Capital Construction Development: Project Management. Clune Construction Company: General Contractor

Product Sources: From Top: Roche Bobois: Ottoman (Lounge). Pedrali: Lounge Chair. CB2: Side Table. Bernhardt Design: Sofa. Maharam: Sofa Fabric (Lounge), Curtain Panels (Conference Room). Oritz Custom Upholstery: Stools (Lounges). Coalesse: Table, Chairs (Conference Room). Designtex: Chair Fabric. Allied Maker: Pendant Fixture. Haworth: Workstations, Storage Units (Office Area), Tables (Booths). Teknion: Task Chairs (Office Area). Spectrum Oak: Custom Banquettes. Martin Brattrud: Custom Benches (Booths, Lounge). Resident: Pendant Fixtures (Booths). Guilford of Maine; Valley Forge Fabrics: Wall Covering. West Elm Contract: Barstools (Kitchen). ICF Group: Tables. Fornasarig: Chairs. Eureka Lighting: Pendant Fixtures. Seeley Brothers: Custom Cabinetry. Caesarstone: Countertops. Schoolhouse Electric: Cabinet Pulls. De La Espada: Side Table (Lounge). Lindstrom Rugs: Rug. Throughout: Koster Construction: Custom Metal Paneling. Opuzen: Custom Fabric. Arktura: Custom Ceiling, Wall Paneling. Stile: Wood Flooring. Tandus Centiva: Carpet Tile. Through Vista Paint: Paint. 

> See more from the May 2019 issue of Interior Design

Continue reading The USC Shoah Foundation in Los Angeles by Belzberg Architects Shines Light on the Darkest Events in Modern History

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