10 Sources for Design Research

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10 Sources for Design Research
As a full-time research professional within a design firm, I spend a great deal of time scouring the web for new sources of information.  In the hopes of spreading this knowledge further, I thought it might help to share a few with others in the AIA. When I get asked to seek out information on a particular subject, these are the first places I go (in no particular order):

  1. InformeDesign (FREE) This UMN managed website is sponsored by many leading architectural associations and features summary's and abstract for countless studies related to architecture, construction, and the impact of the built environment on occupants.
  2. Research Design Connections (Subscription) This is a great resource for concise reviews of the latest design research, and most studies are directly applicable to the day to day practice of design.  There is also a free blog with very short snapshots of new research.
  3. Center for Health Design Research (FREE and Premium) Great source of both free and paid research reports related to healthcare projects.
  4. National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities (NCEF) Resource Lists (FREE) If there was an article, report, or study available related to the planning, design, and construction of school facilities (K-Higher Ed), you'll be able to find it here.  The Resource Lists make it very easy to browse by topic. 
  5. BOMA's Experience Exchange Report (Subscription) Every year BOMA surveys roughly 4000 office buildings to compile what is in our opinion the definitive survey of operating costs in offices nationwide.  Want to know the average utility or insurance costs or how much offices are spending on elevator maintenance? This is your best source...
  6. Environment and Behavior (Subscription) This is the premier refereed journal related to environmental psychology, or how people interact with the built environment.
  7. Environmental Building News (FREE and Premium) This independent, 100% subscriber supported publication has been around for decades and is the best source practical, unbiased, and informative reviews about new sustainable systems and strategies.  Their blog is free and features short summaries of new products and environmentally friendly design concepts.
  8. International Journal of Architectural Research (FREE) This refereed journal features interesting research, though I would fault it for the fact that there is frequently little included that has direct practical implications.  All the same, each issue focuses on a particular subject (right now it's architectural education), and you might find help in the archives.
  9. LS3P Knowledge Center (FREE... please forgive the spam!) This is our public research blog (we also maintain an wiki-style research database for sharing data internally) that is updated roughly weekly with summaries and commentary on both classic and recent applied design studies performed worldwide.  
  10. @LS3P's Research List on Twitter (FREE... apologies again on the spam!) This ever growing feed currently follows 58 accounts ranging from sector specific research like @ECRI_Institute to general studies from the likes of @LBNLmediareports to architecture/engineering feeds like @infrastructurist.
I hope you find this helpful! We're always looking for more information, so please share any resources I missed by leaving a comment.
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Mr. Bardhyl Rama, Intl. Assoc. AIA November 06, 2012 8:11 am
This is very interesting information. Thank you.

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