Integral Living Research (ILR) is a collaborative design research method that melds the disciplines of architecture, interior design, and STEM. Developed through my experiences in human-centered design research that focus almost exclusively on urban living space, the overall goal of ILR is to help transform such urban space when it fails to promote optimal living for underserved families. Because ILR’s collaborative and interdisciplinary research thus far has focused on the urban house, the research will be deployed to develop a “case study house,” both virtual and actual, that tests some of ILR’s innovative methods to improve the health of families. Including a “hard-science” transdisciplinary design approach to green or biophilic materials, we have developed a novel approach to optimizing interior space for health. Overall, this research suggests that such a “case study house” will become an innovative example of how the human-centered design method can drastically improve the health outcomes of urban dwellers.
Through conference papers and publications, ILR promotes ongoing innovation in the human-centered design method as it is applicable to urban living space by also bringing publishable new methods and theories into the classroom. Anchored in the scholarship of teaching and learning through the mentorship of beginning STEM and Design student researchers in the developing novel processes of Integral Living Research, we use the classroom and cutting-edge scholarship to collaborate on urban projects that can improve the lives of others.
Image Credit: Rita Truongcao; DSN and Amir Sedeghi
Healthy Living Center Proposal by MSIAD Interiors Student Rita Truoncgao
Healthy Facade by Amir Sedeghi
This work looks at row house facades that can have growing systems ebmedded in them
processes for people
The nature of Integral Living is embedded in collaboration, with each endeavor, we bring a perspective to the projects that knit into the processes of the other disciplines. We are the design experts on teams built with colleagues, and our leader Dee Nicholas creates the arena for students to build experience in leading teams as the design experts. In our publishing and presentation record, there are a variety of co-authors, we shape the publication record of the group, to build an expertise in healthy living, and scholarship of teaching and learning in the area of transdisciplinary design. The ultimate goal of the research is to have a variety of mentees and colleagues who are contributing to the work. We engage with multiple local community organizations and foundations, including The Scattergood Foundation, People's Emergency Center; Philadelphia Healthy Rowhouse; Health Promotion Council and others. We work to create processes with, and for, our partners that will create change in the space of health and housing.
Health Design Research Innovation Students in a design session
Design Research Student Elise K. Presenting at Venturewell open Washington DC 2017
With research collaborators, both fellow faculty and students, we examine health, resiliency and transdisciplinary collaborative practice as engines for change in urban living spaces. Distinguished through a focus on people and specific population needs, the work presented here gives thought to design in arenas that often operate without such strategic consideration. Current research examines and conjectures on this type of population-informed design in healthy urban living. We have created a focus on those suffering from housing insecurity, including the homeless, single mothers in emergency shelters, low income renters and those struggling in urban neighborhoods with a lack of fresh food. As we understand the design needs of these groups, we are also able to integrate aspects of health and science research into our solutions, because of the collaborative structure of this group. We engage with both care providers and clients to envision new ways that these issues might be eased for these specific populations, we then work to create process-based research that can be shared to create change and broader impacts. This research includes focused examinations of how we can promote new arenas of health in the urban environment though programs, services, spaces and places. Situated within varying groups of people, students, community members, care providers and other researchers, the work connects scholarship teaching and service through student advising, student mentorship, and the administration of the MS Design Research program. We create a process that positions the student teams and the researchers in the right place for novel inspiration through carefully considered processes for people.
Designing with Dignity: Health and Design Research for Underserved Communities
Elise Krespan; MS BIO, MS DSRE; URBN STEAMlab; with Shivanthi Anandan
Elise is a dual major in both the Design Research and biology MS programs; she has anchored the work of URBN STEAMLab through her efforts, co-authored papers, and presented our work in several outlets Nationally. Her final thesis for Design Research and Biology is a working prototype for that will be tested in an actual living environment.
We have also employed a range of students, including interiors masters students, as research assistants, They have been key to the development of the URBN STEAMlab work. In particular they have allowed me to continue to anchor the work in built environment research:
Amir Sedeghi; MSIAD; Integral Living Research
Neha Basavaraj; MSIAD; URBN STEAMlab; with Shivanthi Anandan
Rita Truongcao; MSIAD; URBN STEAMlab; with Shivanthi Anandan
Bryan Cummings; MS Engineering; Integral Living Research
Will Char; MS Engineering; URBN STEAMlab; with Shivanthi Anandan
Scattergood Anchors and Teaching Assistants 2017-2018: These students anchored the course and subsequent research in Spring and Summer 2017 and continued the work of the projects through a public showing at the Design Research Symposium. A number of them will present to this yearís course, and engage with the new crop of students.
Manasvi Shah; MSPBHL; Health Design Research; with Yvonne Michael Teaching assistant
Thanh My Nguyen; MS Design Research: Map the Gap
Samantha Stein; Custom Design Major; Map The Gap; Course TA projected Spring 2018
Dylan Tracy MSPBHL; Theraputic Expressions: Building a Better bunk