Jack Nassar, Wolfgang F. E. Preiser and Tom Fisher have been awarded the 2010 EDRA Achievement Award for the book, Designing for Designers: Lessons Learned from Schools of Architecture.
This award is given in recognition of their research project and resulting book which advance the field of environmental design research through the generation of knowledge. Preiser and Nassar combined their expertise in aesthetics, building evaluation, and participatory approaches with Fisher’s expertise in architectural form and history to create a book that generates and advances knowledge in environmental design research, both in its innovative approach and findings. The case study research design yielded sixteen postoccupancy evaluations of buildings for schools of architecture from around the world, built from 1976 through 2007. This study offers a model of low-cost distributive research with broad application for a host of other design research questions and facility types. This book begins to build a systematic knowledge base on the aesthetic, technological or functional performance of this building type to guide the designs. Because these buildings share many functions with other buildings, the evaluations have broader application by creating guidelines for the future. The evaluations also underscore a division among architects, clients and society in general about the extent to which the public often does not share architectural values, creating a potential conflict between freedom of expression and how well designed buildings should perform. The findings bridge that conflict.
Jack Nassar has published more than 80 scholarly articles on the planning and evaluation of places for human use (including post-occupancy evaluations, and research on design review, environmental meanings, cognition, fear, crime, and spatial behavior) as well as seven books: Visual Quality by Design (2008, ASID); Designing for Designers: Lessons Learned from Schools of Architecture (2007; Fairchild), Universal Design and Visitability: From Accessibility to Zoning (2007, Glenn Institute); Design by Competition: Making Design Competitions Work (1999,Cambridge); Directions in Person Environment Research and Practice (1999, Ethnoscapes); The Evaluative Image of the City (1998, Sage); Environmental Aesthetics: Theory, Research, & Applications (1988, Cambridge). Widely cited by scholars, his research has also been covered by major media outlets, such as NPR and The New York Times.
He teaches graduate level courses on human aspects of places, research method for urban design, methods for programming and evaluating places for human use, environmental aesthetics, and a studio on neighborhood physical planning/urban design. He is on the editorial board of Journal of Environmental Psychology, Journal of Urban Design, Architectural Science, and Research Design Connections, and has written for a popular audience as the architectural critic for The Columbus Dispatch and a guest critic for Landscape Architecture magazine. He headed the $200,000 Columbus Neighborhood Assistance Program for six years; received a $152,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for the Universal Design Leadership Project Inclusive Environments for Inclusive Communities; a $150,000 Robert Wood Johnson Active Living Research grant to study African American Children and their parents perceptions and evaluations of routes and park and recreation areas for walking; and a $49,000 BETHA grant for Communicative Cities.
Wolfgang F. E. Preiser has accumulated over 40 years of experience in teaching, research and consulting, with special emphasis on evaluation and programming of environments, health care facilities, public housing, universal design, and design research in general. Recently, Preiser was Principal Investigator for the Facilities Master Plan for the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. He has received many awards and Fellowships, including two Professional Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, two Progressive Architecture Research Awards, the EDRA Career Award and Achievement Award, and the Rieveschl Award for Scholarly and Creative Works. He has lectured worldwide at 37 universities in the United States and Canada, and 73 universities/venues and professional associations overseas. An international building consultant, Dr. Preiser is co-founder of Architectural Research Consultants, Inc., Albuquerque, New Mexico. Preiser has edited and written numerous articles and books, including: Facility Programming; Programming the Built Environment; Post-Occupancy Evaluation; Building Evaluation; Pueblo Style and Regional Architecture; Design Intervention: Toward a More Human Architecture; Professional Practice in Facility Programming; Design Review: Challenging Urban Aesthetic Control; New Directions in Urban Public Housing; Directions in Person-Environment Research and Practice; Universal Design Handbook; Improving Building Performance; and Assessing Building Performance. He is Associate Editor of the Journal of Environment and Behavior, and serves on the editorial boards of Architectural Science Review, Ultimate Home Design, and Research Design Connections. He is a member of the Environmental Design Research Association (former Vice-Chairman and Secretary), the Society of Human Ecology (USA, Co-Founder and President, 1979-86), and the International Association for People-Environment Studies. He has served on national committees with the American Institute of Architects, the Building Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences, and the National Institute for Disability Rehabilitation Research.
Thomas Fisher is a Professor and the Dean of the College of Design at the University of Minnesota. Prior to his tenure at the University of Minnesota he held various editorial positions for Progressive Architecture and as Director of Project Management for Jeter, Cook & Jepson, Architects. Fisher has published numerous books and book chapters including: Architectural Design and Ethics: Tools for Survival (2008), Lake/Flato Architects (2005), Salmela Architect (2005), and In the Scheme of Things: Alternative Views of the Practice of Architecture (2000).