AIA Awards $100,000 in Research Initiatives Grants

Sourced from Architect's Newspaper

The winners of the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) 11th annual Upjohn Research Initiative have been announced, and $100,000 in grants will be split among the four recipients. Those chosen will receive funding for 18 months to pursue research projects that push the boundaries of design, and their results will be published nationally.

This year’s grant recipients leaned heavily on designs inspired by nature: Half of the group will study the various benefits of biophilia, while another project will examine how biodiversity impacts a structure’s ecological resilience. The 2018 winners are as follows:

The Impact of Biophilic Learning Spaces on Student Success
Principal Investigators: James Determan, FAIA (Hord Coplan Macht) and Mary Anne Akers, PhD (Morgan State University)

With help from the Salk Institute and Terrapin Bright Green, the team will create a biophilic classroom using patterns and shapes from nature, as well as improved views and natural lighting. The performance of students in the classroom will be measured over time to examine the relationship between biophilic design and the success of the students using it.

Biophilic Architecture: Sustainable Materialization of Microalgae Facades
Principal Investigator: Kyoung-Hee Kim, PhD (University of North Carolina at Charlotte)

How can algae be integrated into facade systems? That’s what Kim’s team is trying to find out, and the project will involve prototyping a microalgae facade and codifying best practices for using it in the future. These “live facades” have been used to generate heat and algae biomass in past small-scale projects successfully.

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