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HGA Wins Two National Awards for Research Excellence

HGA has received two Certificate of Research Excellence (CORE) awards from the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA), acknowledging the firm’s growing national profile for “impactful, practice-based research that sparks innovation and promotes best practice in environmental design,” according to EDRA.

The two CORE research studies conducted by a multidisciplinary team of designers, research specialists, and clients include:

Designing for Extremes: Using Techno-Ethnography and Immersive Empathy to Shape Inclusive Architecture
Students participate in an ideation workshop at UVA.

This study redefined the role of University of Virginia’s Student Activities Building (SAB) in the context of the larger campus. The research process included ethnographic research, digital spatial mapping, and ideation while engaging more than 200 students over a four-month period. The team used Design Thinking to develop insights about students’ activities and paths in and around SAB and adjacent buildings. The research and design team then used these analyses to co-create several design options in two participatory ideation workshops. The final design option combined social and intellectual amenities to boost SAB as a campus hub for arts and performance.

The research team included Amin Mojtahedi, Research Specialist at HGA; d’Andre Willis, Practice Leader and Principal at HGA; Bryan Cannon, Design Principal at HGA; Abi Kallushi, Design Coordinator at HGA; and Caroline Bertier West of the University of Virginia.

Download the full CORE Study: Designing for Extremes: Using Techno-Ethnography and Immersive Empathy to Shape Inclusive Architecture.

The Impact of Lighting, Noise, and Design on a NICU Environment
Welcome Center at Kentucky Children’s Hospital NICU.

This research study involved a build-out of a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Kentucky Children’s Hospital (KCH). In a predesign study, the research team collected quantitative and qualitative pre-occupancy data that captured the “Voice of the Customer” (VOC). Questionnaires distributed to staff and family members assessed perceptions of environmental characteristics, including noise level, electric light, amount of work surfaces, and availability of work stations. In a follow-up post-occupancy evaluation, researchers explored staff and family satisfaction around specific characteristics identified in the pre-design research.

The team included Kara Freihoefer, Director of Research at HGA; Rebecca Kleinbaum Sanders, Healthcare Principal at HGA; Terri Zborowsky, Design Researcher at HGA; Jennifer Christmann, Director of Facilities Planning & Development at University of Kentucky HealthCare; and Andrea Wilkerson, Lighting Engineer at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Download the full CORE Study: The Impact of Lighting, Noise, and Design on a NICU Environment.

About CORE

CORE winners were selected by a cross-disciplinary panel of academic researchers, practice-based researchers, designers, and industry thought leaders.

HGA recently presented four research studies at EDRA50 Brooklyn.