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Student Awards

EDRA presents a number research and design awards at the annual EDRA conference, including the Best Student Paper Award and the Best Student Design Poster Award.

We seek the best student work for these awards: thought-provoking research and forward-thinking design concepts that exemplify EDRA’s principles. The awards program is a fantastic opportunity for students to receive recognition for their work, move forward in their thesis or dissertation writing, and contribute to the body of knowledge and practice that makes EDRA the leader in environmental design research.

The EDRA Best Student Paper award could not have happened at a better time for me. I couldn't have started my final dissertation writing phase on a better high. The award also convinced my committee that I was ready to defend that semester. The paper I submitted eventually became the first empirical chapter of my dissertation after some revisions and additions, and set the tone for the other five empirical chapters. So thank you EDRA! And to students: just send those entries in, you never know, experts might actually consider your work pretty good!
Sudeshna Chatterjee, 2006 1st Place Student Paper Award Winner

2020 Student Awards Timeline

  • December 9, 2019: Submission deadline for Papers and Design Posters to be considered for the awards
  • April 7, 2020: Awards announced at the EDRA51 Banquet 

Best Student Paper Award

Student submissions of full-length papers are vetted initially through the same peer-review process as other full-length papers. Papers accepted for presentation are reviewed again by the EDRA Awards Committee to select award winners. To be eligible for consideration for a student award you must submit your full-length paper with your abstract by the submission deadline; the work must have been completed within the preceding year; all authors must have been students at the time the work was completed; and faculty, professional, or non-student involvement must have been minimal and limited to that normally expected of work to be graded. Please note: This requirement is not meant to exclude participatory or collaborative projects involving client groups and faculty advisors or coordinators.

Award Criteria

Papers co-authored by faculty members must have an accompanying letter describing the extent of the faculty member’s involvement in the work and a signed letter of nomination from your advisor. The student must be first author and conference presenter.

First prize for the Student Paper Award includes $500 travel voucher, conference fee paid by EDRA, and a one year EDRA student membership. Second place prize is a one year EDRA student membership. All student award finalists merit recognition in EDRA publications.


Best Student Design Poster Award

The Best Student Design Poster Award is distinguished by its recognition of environmental designs that respond to human factors in the conception of the full range of environmental scales through the infusion of research findings and users’ inputs on the needs of human’s in the built world. The Student Design Poster Award criteria are underpinned by EDRA’s mission of advancing and disseminating behavior and design research toward improving understanding of the relationships between people and their environments and seek to recognize student projects that demonstrate excellence in the design of humane environments.

We invite submissions of exemplary environmental design work at a range of scales from urban design, to landscape, to architecture, to interior and industrial design completed by EDRA student members. To be eligible for consideration for a student design award authors must submit an abstract by the poster submission deadline. Design projects should have been completed by January 2019 and should emphasize a link between research and design, demonstrating how an understanding of human interaction, use and experience can inspire excellent environmental design.

Those design projects which are accepted for presentation at the conference will have the opportunity to indicate if they wish their project to be considered for this award, and if so, those materials will be judged onsite by the EDRA Awards Committee.

Award Criteria

Submitted projects will be judged in four areas:

  1. Quality of the Design Project and Demonstrated links between design and a body of research literature
  2. Quality of Graphic Communication and Representation
  3. Comprehensive Quality of the Submission
  4. Alignment of the Design with EDRA's Mission

First prize for the Student Design Poster Award includes a $500 travel voucher, conference fee paid by EDRA, and a one year student membership. Second place is a one year EDRA student membership. All student award finalists will receive recognition in EDRA publications and website.


Past Winners


Best Student Paper, First Place: "What Village Are You from? Understanding the Origins and Morphology of Informal Settlements in Ahmedabad, India" - Kali Marnane

Best Student Design Poster, First Place Tie: "Staying Power: Millennial Travel Behavior, Instagram Use, and Sustainable Hotel Design for Cities" - Erin Colwell

Best Student Design Poster, First Place Tie: "A Design-Oriented Approach of Preparedness Against Active Shooters: A Case of Evaluating a University Student Lounge" - Kristy Kellom



Best Student Paper, First Place: “The Needs of Nurses for Daylighting and View Outside in Inpatient Facilities: A Mixed-methods Study.” - Arsalan Gharaveis

Best Student Paper, Second Place: “Accuspace: A Prototype of Occupant Space-Use Monitoring Tool for Workplace Studies.” - Yaoyi Zhou

Best Student Design Poster: “Empowering Buildings Against Active Shooter Incidents on University Campuses.” -  Kristy Kellom, Michigan State University


Best Student Paper: “Comparison of Aging in Place in Japan, South Korea, and China.” Yeji Yi and David Boeck

Best Student Design Poster: “Teaching and Learning in the City: Assessing Outcomes of a Design Service-Learning Course in Detroit” – Claudia Bernasconi, Nicole Fricke, and Rachel Pisano


Best Student Paper:

Best Student Design Poster:


Best Student Paper:

Best Student Design Poster:


Best Student Paper: "Outdoor as Learning Environment for Children at a Primary School of Bangladesh" Matluba Khan, University of Edinburgh

Best Student Design Poster: "Measuring Indoor-Outdoor Spatial Relationship in Preschool Classroom Environment" Muntazar Monsur, North Carolina State University


Best Student Paper: "Eight Characteristics of Built Space Supportive to Conflict Mediation Processes" Anthony Purvis, Florida State University

Best Student Design Poster: "Towards Multidisciplinary Healthcare Design: Contrasting Views of Designers & Medical Staff" Daejin Kim, University of Florida, Jae Hwa Lee, Yonsei University


Best Student Paper, First Place: "Impact of Street Design on Children's Independent Mobility," Muntazar Monsur, North Carolina State University

Best Student Paper, Second Place: "The Comparison of Cognitive Play Affordances Within Natural and Manufactured Preschool Settings," Zahra Zamani, North Carolina State University

Best Student Design Poster: "Miller Lake EcoPark," Alex Waffle, Fanshawe College

Best Student Design Poster: "How Participatory Design Methodologies Can Be Used to Engage Children and Adolescents in the Design Process," Tonya Miller, Camilla Watson, Chris Smith and Bonnie Casamassima, Savannah College of Art and Design