Performative spaces must now be designed to evolve as rapidly as the needs of those that occupy them. This new publication provides detailed design strategies, case studies and the latest advances in the use of new technologies to illustrate the ways in which evidence can be integrated into the design process.
Driven by enormous advances in ICT, the world is experiencing a period of unprecedented social change—one that has placed extraordinary demands on our built environments, and on our understanding about how they work for the people that actively occupy them. The impact of social interaction on our health and sense of wellbeing is now also recognised as a significant driver in the design of new environments and the need for ongoing research.
Although the act of designing has always been—and always will be—a process of discovery, the question is: upon what do we base our speculation in an evolving social context? An evidence-based approach is not linear or static, nor does it provide a ready-made suite of answers, it simply means that we look beyond the limitations of our own knowledge for reliable information upon which to base our process.
This approach is now critical for the design, production and operation of urban, work, retail, health, learning, transport, aged care and cultural spaces—anyplace where the built environment can have a real and significant impact on an occupant’s experience and performance.
The aim of EBD is to create a bridge between research and design practice, augmenting the existing knowledge of organisations, communities, architects and urban planners, their clients and end users, with available evidence about the ways in which people interact with the new and complex environments that we now occupy. Predictable, or not, reliable information about anthropospatial behaviour can inspire new thoughts and ideas.
At EBD, our ambition is to refocus architectural thinking on the person and refine the concept of what data might be. A single story can be data and, in sufficient quantity, that data can become evidence. The problem for design professionals is that such evidence is not readily available outside of the realm of academia, and it is not often gathered with the act of design in mind—it requires filtering and interpretation—and that is where EBD comes in.
The inaugural issue of the Evidence Based Design (EBD) Journal focuses on a building type that has been rapidly evolving over the past thirty years: the residential aged care facility, or nursing home. With a growing global trend towards the concept of aging-in-place, residential care facilities are now evolving programatically to meet multiple, complex needs:
– a social and administrative hub for community-based programs.
– residential care for those with significant physical health issues and/or dementia.
– transitional and respite care.
– palliative care outside of a hospital setting.
In the production of this issue, EBD has placed particular emphasis on designing for dementia.
We have reviewed over 1,190 research publications and selected 215 articles that are most relevant to the design process.
All articles have been written with non-academics in mind, by acknowledged experts in the fields of architecture and gerontology. Each article has been reviewed by an esteemed panel of academics, with significant experience in research and design practice.
Journal 1 is presented in three distinct sections:
1. 2 x articles on:
– The role of evidence in the design process, and
– The use of new and emerging smart technologies.
2. 35 x individual evidence-based design strategies based on 6 primary principles:
– Safety and security
– Private-public life.
3. 2 x significant case studies of contemporary facilities from Italy and Germany.
To learn more about EBD, or to submit design/research projects for review, visit http://ebdjournal.com/.
If you support what we are doing, then please get in touch and follow us on our social media sites (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn). Through the EBD blog, there will be opportunities for our readers to contribute their knowledge and experiences because, most of all, we want to know what you need to know. For EBD to grow and evolve then we also need your critical feedback. We are very excited about this new venture and we are looking forward to hearing from you soon.
Dr Darragh O’Brien is the managing editor of Evidence Based Design. He is also a principal of Architectural Research Consultancy and spent five years as founding director of the Spatial Research Group at Monash University, Melbourne. With over twenty years’ experience as an architect, he also holds a PhD on the evidence-based design of performative architectural space. Darragh specialises in post-occupancy analysis and has developed a unique set of research tools to help us understand the way people interact with the environments that we occupy. His research interest is in the role of knowledge in a creative design process. His current research focus is on the use of new technologies in the design of care facilities for dementia and palliative-care residents.