An environmental psychologist and professor of architecture at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Dr Craig Zimring is dedicated to improving health and healthcare through evidence-based design. He currently serves on the board of the Center for Health Design and has served on the boards of the Environmental Design Research Association, the National Academies’ Board on Infrastructure and the Constructed Environment, the Joint Commission’s Roundtable on the Hospital of the Future and other organizations. He has over 75 publications in the scholarly and professional press and has won 10 awards for his research.
The work of Dr Zimring and his multidisciplinary research group focuses on understanding the relationships between the physical environment and human satisfaction, performance, behavior and well being. He has consulted and directed research with the Military Health System, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Ascension, Military Health System, Centers for Disease Control, and numerous other organizations and architects. The Emory Hospital Neurocritical Care Unit that the Georgia Tech team helped plan and design won the 2008 Society of Critical Care Medicine Design Citation for the best ICU design. This ICU has been recognized for patient-and-family-centered care. He chaired the Health Environments Research Summit (2006) and the EBD 2.0 Summit (2008) and is principal investigator of a large study funded by the Military Health System exploring the impact of design on falls, noise, transfers, staff patient-handling injuries, satisfaction and healthcare acquired infection.
Dr. Zimring’s work has also focused on building and site design that encourages everyday physical activity, including studies of continuing care retirement communities, corporate campuses, university campuses and innovative building designs. He served as a senior scientist for the New York City Active Design Guidelines, which provides building, site and urban design guidelines to encourage everyday physical activity. The first guidelines of their type, the Active Design Guidelines are used by 11 City agencies for all public construction in New York City. Dr Zimring has provided featured or keynote addresses to the Board of Trustees of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Institute for Healthcare Improvement Annual International Summit on Redesigning Hospital Care, Institute of Medicine Green Healthcare Symposium, National Council of Architectural Registration Boards Annual Meeting, and others.
Dr Zimring has co-edited two special journal issues focusing on healthcare: Environment & Behavior (March 2008) and the Health Environments Research and Design (HERD) journal (June 2008). His 2006 and 2008 reviews of the rigorous research literature with Roger Ulrich and others linked environmental qualities to patient staff and organizational outcomes. They found hundreds of rigorous scientific studies; these meta-analysis were discussed in the Lancet, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe and other sources and he and his colleagues have recently updated this review for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.