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K-State Today

March 29, 2021

Graduate students in interior architecture & industrial design present at EDRA

Submitted by Thom Jackson

Lauren Fitzpatrick, left, and Emily Block

Two graduate students from the interior architecture & industrial design department in the College of Architecture, Planning & Design will present at the national Environmental Design Research Association conference, May 19-23.

The annual conference brings together a multi-disciplinary community to exchange knowledge and findings on the theory, teaching, research and practice of environmental design that put diverse human needs at its focus.

Emily Block, fifth-year student, Hastings, Nebraska, will present “Redesigning Dying Malls: An Opportunity to Address the Housing Crisis and Reinvigorate Communities." In this ongoing research, Block is looking into the possible ways to redesign dying malls in order to address the ongoing housing crisis, revive remaining businesses, and reinvigorate communities through the analysis of data gathered by a series of semi-structured interviews with retail business owners, community members and employees of existing homeless shelters.

Lauren Fitzpatrick, a graduate post-baccalaureate, Kearney, Missouri, will present “Wellness Focused Design Guidelines for Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy Facilities." As a post-baccalaureate student with a prior degree in equestrian studies, Fitzpatrick is working to develop a set of design guidelines in this ongoing research, focusing on improving patient and staff experience as well as ensuring equine welfare by controlling environmental stressors in equine-facilitated psychotherapy facilities.

“Both research projects are promising fresh and useful output that have the potential to improve the spatial experience and life quality for occupants,” said Kutay Guler, assistant professor. “We are expecting that the findings will be received well by the broad design community and build on the existing literature on healthcare facilities and emergency shelters.”

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