The ASID Foundation is pleased to announce the third annual Interior Design Research Grant Program, TRANSFORM, awarding $105,000 in grants to design-related initiatives that address critical gaps in industry knowledge.

Interior Design Research Grant Program
The ASID Foundation is pleased to announce the third annual Interior Design Research Grant Program, Transform, to be awarded to design-related initiatives that address critical gaps in industry knowledge.

Interior design transforms environments in ways that improve life’s outcomes. Interior designers are ethically, socially and environmentally responsible professionals who design, renovate and provide design services that transform built environments. By extension, these grants seek to provide critical funding for research topics that advance design knowledge and transform the practice of interior design for the benefit of the public.

Description of Award
Up to $105,000 annually may be awarded to single or multiple studies. Grants may be used for research studies and/or as seed/start-up funds for a larger research initiative. No more than nine percent of the Foundation’s total grant may be used for administrative expenses, including “indirect” or “overhead” costs.

Research Topic 

The Foundation believes that the greatest need of the profession is the ability to demonstrate the value and impact of interior design in quantifiable, replicable and ultimately, economic terms. The fees per square foot that designers command have remained relatively stagnant for more than a decade. The role and influence of interior designers is at risk of becoming marginalized as the building disciplines increasingly converge and the specific contributions of the interior designer remain poorly understood by, or articulated to, the client. Therefore, the profession must develop a persuasive business case for interior design by demonstrating to decision-makers its transformative return on investment (ROI) as a driver of improved human behavior.

While the ASID Foundation believes that there are significant research opportunities to better support the business case for interior design across multiple practice areas, it is particularly interested in receiving proposals which focus upon workplace settings involving populations of knowledge workers.

Historically, published efforts in this area have frequently taken the form of pre/post occupancy evaluations (POEs).  While this evidence-based design (EBD) methodology emphasizes occupant behavior, it often reflects a reluctance on the part of the client or firm to dedicate sufficient resources and/or lack a level of quantitative rigor which would increase the value of using baseline knowledge and generate findings that can deduce the ROI of particular design interventions.

Therefore, potential focal points for research include but are not limited to:

  1. Establishing standardized and uniform reporting mechanisms, protocol and, where possible, metrics obtained from using an EBD methodology in order to conduct POEs that address behavioral aspects of occupants and tie to economic data and ROI;

  2. Conducting POEs utilizing EBD practice methodology which address the above; and

  3. Obtaining, compiling and synthesizing baseline knowledge from credible sources (i.e., design firms, clients’ end users, manufacturers and/or stakeholders).  This would likely require particular industry access and influence as baseline knowledge and POEs may frequently be regarded as closely-held, proprietary information. 

Design professionals, clients, scientists and educators are encouraged to apply. Interdisciplinary collaborations are welcome.

Evaluation Process and Criteria
The RFP process will include a three-stage review process:

  1. All submissions will be vetted for alignment and compliance with the ASID Foundation’s mission and purpose.

  2. The top five studies will be prioritized by a jury of workplace experts and design researchers.

  3. The Foundation’s Board of Trustees will make the final funding decisions.

Application Process Opens: August 1, 2013
Due Date: Sept. 27, 2013
Announcement of Grant Recipients: Jan. 31, 2014

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Contact the Foundation

ASID Foundation Opens Call for Submissions for Third Annual Research Grant Program