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Sparking innovation and promoting best practice in environmental design

The Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) is pleased to announce the recipients of the Certificate of Research Excellence (CORE) for 2017. CORE recognizes rigorous, valuable, and impactful practice-based research that sparks innovation and promotes best practice in environmental design.

The credibility of academic research is typically judged on the basis of well-established protocols and peer-review processes – but what constitutes research quality in the context of the practice of environmental design? The tools used to assess academic research do not easily translate to practice-based research, a challenge for researchers and practitioners alike. In response, EDRA developed CORE to serve as a measuring stick to assess the value of research that goes beyond rigor alone.

EDRA CORE’s unique evaluation framework identifies practice-based environmental design research that is not only rigorous, but also offers measurable value, meets industry challenges, and advances design thinking; recognizes the importance of research in practice; provides a compass to guide designers, researchers, organizations, and manufacturers; and builds on EDRA’s tradition of inquiry, reflection, and collaboration and its commitment to innovation.

The following practice-based design research projects met the CORE criteria and were selected for recognition, based on the review of a cross-disciplinary panel of reviewers consisting of academic researchers, practice-based researchers, designers, and industry thought leaders. The CORE recipients will be recognized during EDRA48Madison May 31-June 3, 2017 in Madison, Wisconsin.

Read more on the 2017 CORE recipients here

Campus Capital Framework: Mapping Meaning to Inform the Michigan Union Renovation
Workshop Architects, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, School of Architecture & Urban Planning; Study Team – Brian Schermer, Jan van den Kieboom, Peter van den Kieboom, Nick Robinson and Sweta Meier
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Evaluating High-Performance Design Strategies to Improve Educational Performance and Occupant Well-Being: A Comparative Pre- and Post-Occupancy Evaluation of a School in Cambridge, Massachusetts
Perkins Eastman; Study Team – Emily Chmielewski, Katie Herber, Heather Jauregui, Sean O'Donnell, and Jana Silsby
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Neural Correlates of Nature Stimuli: an fMRI Study
Sky Factory, Inc., Texas Tech University; Study Team – Debajyoti Pati, Michael O'Boyle, William Witherspoon, Cherif Amor, David Navarrete, Jiancheng (Richie) Hou, Shabboo Valipoor, and Dan Fang
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On-Stage/Off-Stage Clinic Design: Implications for Operational Efficiencies, Staff Collaboration and Privacy
HGA Architects and Engineers; Study Team – Dennis Vonasek, Len Kaiser, Kara Freihoefer, and Sara Bayramzadeh
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Revitalizing Underutilized Social-Study Areas in a Student Residence Hall
TreanorHL; Study Team – Malia Bucher, Kent Spreckelmeyer, Nadia Zhiri, Joellen Tipton, and Sharmin Kader
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CORE Chairperson: Emily Chmielewski EDAC, Senior Design Researcher and Senior Associate, Perkins Eastman

Thank you to the following 2017 EDRA CORE panel of reviewers:

Sherry Ahrentzen, Ph.D., Shimberg Professor of Housing Studies, Shimberg Center for Housing Studies

Meredith A Banasiak, Boulder Associates Architects

Gowri Betrabet Gulwadi, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Northern Iowa

Sheila F. Cahnman, FAIA, FACHA, LEED AP, JumpGarden Consulting

Hui Cai, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, University of Kansas

Maggie Calkins, Ph.D., Executive Director, The Mayer-Rothschild Foundation

Emily Chmielewski, EDAC, EDRA Board Liaison to CORE, CORE Co-Chair, Senior Design Researcher and Associate, Perkins Eastman

Susan Chung, Ph.D., Senior Research Associate, ASID

Fiona de Vos, Ph.D., Owner and Founder, Studio dVO

Hessam Ghamari, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Appalachian State University

Anjali Joseph, Ph.D., EDAC, Endowed Chair in Architecture + Health Design and Research, Clemson University

Shireen Kanakri, M.Arch., Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Ball State University

Migette Kaup, Ph.D., IDEC, IIDA, ASID, EDAC, Professor, Kansas State University

Shiriki Kumanyika, Ph.D., MPH, Emeritus Professor, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

Lori McGilberry, CHID, EDAC, IIDA, Healthcare Segment Manager, Gerflor USA

Diana Nicholas, MFA, B.Arch., Assistant Professor, Associate Director, MS Interior Architecture & Design, Director, SBE Minor, Drexel University

Michelle Ossmann, Ph.D., Director, Healthcare Environments, Steelcase Health

Giyoung Park, PhD., AIA,Senior Design Research and Associate, HKS, Inc.

Melissa Piatkowski, EDAC, Research Associate, The Center for Health Design

Suzanne Schectman, MS, Senior Design Researcher, THE MEME Design

Nancy M. Wells, Ph.D., Environmental Psychologist, Cornell University Human Ecology

Val Williams, M.Arch, CORE Co-Chair, Senior Healthcare Planner

Terri Zborowsky Ph.D., EDAC, Principal Zborowsky Health Care Design Consulting; Adjunct Faculty, University of Minnesota

About EDRA:
The Environmental Design Research Association is an international, interdisciplinary organization founded in 1969 by architects and psychologists concerned with integrating people's needs in shaping the built environment. EDRA exists to advance and disseminate environmental design research, thereby improving understanding of the inter-relationships of people with their built and natural surroundings toward creation and curation of environments responsive to human needs. For more information, visit