WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Foundation is pleased to announce the recipients for its fifth annual Transform Grant. This annual award, made possible through the support of the Donghia Foundation, focuses on supporting evidence‐based research that investigates the impact of interior design on a particular topic; this year, that topic is "learning experience."

The seed grant award of $30,000 was awarded to a multidisciplinary team from the Center for Advanced Design Research and Evaluation, HKS, Inc., Dallas Independent School District, and Herman Miller on their proposal to build a prototype space for examining how high school students interact with their environment for personalized learning. The research project award of $70,000 was awarded to an interdisciplinary team from the University of Florida for their proposal to create a typology of space for mixed-use learning zones and to develop evidence-based design guidelines for implementation.

"The ASID Foundation and trustees regard these two winning research projects as critical in augmenting the profession's knowledge base in the field of higher education and K-12 design," said ASID Foundation, Chair Lisa Henry, FASID. "Their findings will help designers and clients better understand the science behind interior design strategies in these important spaces."

Seed Grant Award: 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.

"This grant is a unique opportunity to push the envelope in research-integrated design practice that occurs in collaboration with the owner (Dallas Independent School District) and the user (students)," said Ashley Bryan, director of planning and special projects for the Dallas Independent School District, and Dr. Upali Nanda, director of research at HKS, Inc., and executive director of the nonprofit Center for Advanced Design Research and Evaluation. "The creation of a living lab in a real-life school setting that captures human response to interior conditions is uncharted territory. We appreciate the chance to be given a pilot grant so we can explore this potential and apply it to the very meaningful area of how design can enhance personalized learning in schools today."

Research Project Award: 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.

"Technology has radically changed student expectations of their educational experiences. Currently, we don't fully understand how mixed-used learning zones meet the social and cognitive needs of millennials. As the flagship project of the Engage Design Lab at the University of Florida, we are thrilled to partner with ASID," said Dr. Sheila Bosch, assistant professor at the University of Florida's Department of Interior Design, and the principal investigator of the project.

"Learning must transcend the classroom walls, which is why this project was designed to examine the spaces between traditional classrooms," added Jason Meneely, associate professor and co-principal investigator of the project.

The winners emerged from a four-stage review process that narrowed the initial 28 proposals based on compliance with the proposal guidelines and the ASID Foundation's mission, and then a rigorous blind assessment by a diverse jury of design and education experts, including Charrisse Johnston of Steinberg, Lisa Killaby of Stantec, Elliot Washor of Big Picture Learning, Richard Holeton of Stanford University, and Mark Goodman of Learning by Design. The final decision was made by the ASID Foundation Board of Trustees based on the jury's nominations.

Transform Grant recipients include The Center for Advanced Design Research and Evaluation, a not-for-profit organization committed to fostering innovation and excellence in design by contributing to the growing body of evidence related to design performance and impact on users, organizations, and ecosystems, and by disseminating this knowledge to the design and user community in credible forums; HKS, Inc., a worldwide network of professionals, strategically located and working seamlessly as one firm with individual expertise in design, research, and management to create places that enhance the human experience; Dallas Independent School District; Herman Miller, a company known for coming up with innovative ways to improve the performance of customers' organizations; the University of Florida's Department of Interior Design; and The Agency, a team housed within the University of Florida's College of Journalism and Communications with a passion for ideas that resonate with millennials.