InformeDesign was created to bring design research and practice together. The designers of the built environment face a multitude of complex challenges that are resource, social, environmental, behavioral, and design in nature. InformeDesign brings research from a vast array of reputable research sources to the design community to addresses those challenges. They range from the most rigorous, peer reviewed journal research findings transformed into evidence-based design criteria to postings of the most recent doctoral dissertations and intra-company industry reports. All are provided as a means by which to enable design practitioners to engage in evidence-based design (EBD).
The design professions of interior design, architecture, landscape architecture, graphic design, and urban planning, among others, are vital and essential. However, these jurisdictions, or boundaries of practice, can only be maintained through the attainment and use of abstract knowledge (Abbott, 1988). Abstract knowledge is developed through research that adds to a profession’s body of knowledge. These professions must effectively engage its practitioners as active consumers of research. This source will enable the further development of the bodies of knowledge of the design professions to secure their professional jurisdictions and enhance the public’s understanding of the value they add to their lives. For the body of knowledge to be utilized and enhanced, information sharing between practitioners, researchers, educators, code officials, clients, and industry partners must be more encompassing and continuous.
Researchers are beginning to consistently coordinate with practitioners to provide research that is vital to their work, so the outcomes of design solutions can be systematically examined. Practitioners can help generate the raw data necessary to develop the body of knowledge. Researchers can analyze the data; educators can use the findings to teach new knowledge to future designers; graduating students can inspire practitioners to engage with new knowledge and to go beyond normative design. All must work toward the development and use of the body of knowledge. InformeDesign is here to do just that.
To learn more about InformeDesign, you can investigate the mission and objectives of this pre-EBD entity. If you are wondering why it is important to consider applying research to your design decisions, check out our views on the benefits of applying research to practice and how that has influenced the history and development of InformeDesign. Of course, we always want to hear your comments and questions, so feel free to contact us!
The mission of InformeDesign is to facilitate designers’ use of current, research-based information as a decision-making tool in the design process, thereby integrating research and practice in an evidence-based design (EBD)-approach.
InformeDesign enables practitioners to engage in an EBD-approach, thereby improving the quality of design solutions; enhancing the public's health, safety, and welfare; and supporting sustainability. Specifically, InformeDesign’s objectives are to:
- Create an EBD one-stop for design practitioners, educators, students, and researchers of resources and tools, free and accessible worldwide;
- Present research that pertains to the design of the built environment;
- Provide a searchable database of research-based design criteria;
- Disseminate research findings and evidence-based design criteria in practitioner-friendly language;
- Develop venues for communication to facilitate sharing of knowledge between all entities and individuals involved with the design of the built environment and/or the study of human behavior in the built environment;
- Educate all parties regarding the important role, use, and application of research; and
- Provide a platform for self-published viewpoints, case studies, unpublished research, and industry reports to aid in the dissemination of EBD knowledge, globally.
InformeDesign provides a broad range of benefits to be gained by the design community, clients, occupants, participants, and other users through the designers’ use of research.
- Incorporating research findingsinto the design process will inform the creation of design solutions that protect people’s safety and health and enhance their welfare.
- Enhancing collaboration across disciplines, industries, and nations advances the development of superior design solutions that are evidence-based and sustainable.
- Encouraging documentation and dissemination of design solutions via case studies to build the body of knowledge raises the bar for design professionals, ultimately benefiting building occupants and the natural environment.
InformeDesign was co-created by Denise Guerin, PhD and Caren Martin, PhD at the University of Minnesota, in the Department of Design, Housing, and Apparel. Ideation and development of InformeDesign occurred between 1999-2002. The ideation and commitment to this project is the belief that the designers of the built environment must continue to enhance their knowledge and skills to continue to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public to ever-increasing degrees of excellence. Continuing to build the body of knowledge and disseminating that knowledge is the key.
InformeDesign became operational in January 2003 with the launch of the Web site. InformeDesign had substantial, generous financial support through multi-year grants from the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), beginning with their funding of the development grant in 2000. ASID also provided principal, continuous support via their key staff and organizational amenities through 2009. The University of Minnesota also provided generously via in-kind contributions of staff assistance, functional support, and physical housing of InformeDesign’s offices through 2013. Additional financial support was secured from industry, design firms, and design entities from 2009-2013.
In October 2013, the University of Minnesota granted the license for InformeDesign back to its co-creators, Denise Guerin and Caren Martin, who formed InformeDesign, LLC. As an independent entity, new forms of organization, funding (advertising and sponsorship), publishing, and communication can be leveraged to continue to grow InformeDesign to fulfill its evidence-based design (EBD) mission.