When I think about the champions of evidence-based design, two names immediately come to mind: Roger Ulrich and Kirk Hamilton.
Both are former board directors of The Center for Health Design (CHD) and both have been professors at Texas A&M University's College of Architecture (Kirk still is; Roger is now at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden).
As far as I can tell, Roger was the first person to coin the term evidence-based design, in an interview he gave to the Lancet in 1999. But Kirk was instrumental in defining it.
Kirk is also the person who came up with the idea for the EDAC (Evidence-based Design Accreditation and Certification) program at a 2003 CHD board retreat in Keystone, CO. And he, along with Jaynelle Stichler, was the brainchild behind the Health Environments Research & Design (HERD) Journal.
So, when Kirk gave me a copy of his latest book, Rigor and Research in Healthcare Design: A Decade of Advocacy, at the Healthcare Design conference last November, I was more than pleased. Published by Herman Miller Healthcare, the book is a compendium of the best of his evidence-based design writings from HERD and Healthcare Design magazine.
The 237-page volume is divided into nine topic areas, with a thoughtful introduction by Roger Call and Phyllis Goetz of Herman Miller Healthcare -- and an analytical foreword by Roger Ulrich himself. Kirk's preface gives great insight into what has motivated him all these years to write so thoroughly about evidence-based design for healthcare.
A bonus is a conclusion written by Kirk titled, "The Way Forward," that gives interesting insights into the future of healthcare design -- among other things, using research to make better decisions, new practice models, collaboration, design education, and lessons from a larger world.
While no means a quick read (and I admit, I did not read all of it), this book is a must-have reference for anyone wanting to learn about putting evidence-based design into practice. And while all the articles in the book are available online (some free, some not), to have them all in once place is a real plus.
To request a copy of the book, contact Phyllis Goetz at Herman Miller Healthcare. Copies are limited, so do it today!
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