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Evidence-Based Design

by Caren Martin

Mar 06, 2015   Share on Facebook Share on Facebook    Comments (0)

EBD is a design process approach to determine a design solution that is based in "evidence." Selection of design consultants frequently rests on their ability to provide evidence that a design solution will have certain outcomes. How do design practitioners "prove" that the design of a new office can increase employees' productivity? That providing access to a healing garden can accelerate discharge rates from the hospital? That the design of new classrooms can increase student learning? That design of a Web site can increase its use? That creation of a graphic identity system can improve wayfinding through a building? Or, that application of specialized textiles can facilitate people's comfort? EBD is a means by which designers can identify evidence that a specific design decision will result in a specific, measurable outcome. However, some practitioners simply claim they engage in EBD as a marketing tool, similar to the 'green washing' effects experienced in the infancy of the sustainability movement. Healthcare designers are leading the way in terms of adoption of EBD, and there is much to be learned from their approach and progress in this effort. As a designer, where do you stand on this issue, and what do you perceive as roadblocks to your adoption of an EBD-approach? As a building owner, are you sure about how to integrate an EBD-approach into your master planning project?