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16 May 2016

AIA and HOK Partner to Advance Design and Health Research Consortium

HOK will facilitate focus group activities in partnership with the AIA’s Design and Health Research Consortium, which works to advance revolutionary, university-led research related to design and health.

Under the agreement, the AIA and HOK will work with the consortium on its key priority: identifying and developing practice-focused opportunities for funded research, publications and tools for design and public health. The goal of the collaboration is to help AIA members conduct research that can be translated into architectural solutions that improve public health.

“HOK is a bridge to the client community,” said Suzanna Kelley (below right), FAIA, the AIA’s managing director of strategic alliances and initiatives. “This first collaboration with the private sector is designed to inform consortium members what their ultimate client—the public—needs from their groundbreaking basic research into how design can help improve public well-being.”

AIA HOK CollaborationThe new partnership will leverage HOK’s global network of architects and clients to support translation of existing research—and to build the case for doing more practice-focused research. Findings from the focus groups will be documented and used to help the Consortium universities direct their health research toward a more targeted, client-based approach. The goal is to help Consortium teams understand how research can be used in architectural practice, and to further the conversation with the Consortium’s public health partners. Focus groups will occur for the next year, concluding in May 2017.

“HOK is delighted to partner with the AIA’s Design and Health Research Consortium to help premier academic research institutions translate their groundbreaking research on the impact of design on human and community health into professional practice,” said Anica Landreneau (above left), Associate AIA, LEED AP, HOK’s director of sustainable design. “We look forward to facilitating focus groups for these institutions and our multidisciplinary design partners in architecture, interiors, landscape, planning and engineering—as well as our clients—in the effort to focus the next generation of research on this important issue. HOK and the AIA seek to promote the understanding and application of critical ideas, research outcomes and evidence that sustainable design truly will improve human health and wellness, in addition to ecological health.”

The focus groups will occur at or near the Consortium universities (full list can be found here). These meetings will document the findings of these important conversations. The partnership with HOK provides the AIA and the Foundation with a unique opportunity to engage an architectural firm with significant reach on a domestic and global scale. It also helps the AIA fulfill its primary mission of facilitating holistic, synchronous and multi-scale solutions that can empower its members to address a wide range of areas connecting design and public health.

The AIA and HOK will document and summarize focus group feedback for a broader audience, including the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH), the Consortium Network and participants. The agreement also calls for establishing a process for providing AIA Continuing Education for architect members at each focus group event.