Architecture researcher receives CHD's new investigator award

Thursday, December 04, 2014

LAWRENCE — The Center for Health Design has awarded Department of Architecture Post-Doctoral Fellow Nayma Khan its New Investigator Award. The Center for Health Design (CHD) is a nonprofit organization that engages and supports professionals and organizations in the health care, construction and design industries to improve the quality of health care facilities and create new environments for healthy aging.

Khan’s study explores space syntax as a new way to examine and explain the ways people interact with the environment, specifically the patient way-finding experience in hospitals. Her ultimate goal is to propose it as an innovative tool and technique for the architect, health care planner and designer, and to help them identify ways to improve patient satisfaction.

“Hospital environments are powerful forces in shaping a patient’s experience,” Khan said. “As the success of health care design depends on patient satisfaction, it is important to know what environmental properties have greater effect on patients’ experiences when they are in way-finding situations. This understanding would help to make health care design decisions that respect patients’ values and preferences, and to design a more patient-friendly hospital environment.

“The proposed research would provide new knowledge in the area of evidence-based design. It is expected that findings could help improve hospital design almost anywhere but particularly in developing countries, where patient experience is grossly neglected,” she said.

The CHD New Investigator Award will provide a $10,000 grant to support her research and a $1,000 travel stipend. The award also makes her a member of the organizations’s Research Coalition for one year. She will present her completed research study at the annual CHD conference next year.

Last spring the Architectural Research Centers Consortium awarded Khan with its ARCC King Student Medal for Excellence in Architectural and Environmental Research. She was nominated by the faculty of the Architecture Department for her innovation, integrity, and scholarship in architectural and environmental design research.

She also received an International Fellowship from the American Association of University Women, won a KU Summer Fellowship and a Graduate Research Competition, all in 2012.

Khan received two architecture degrees from KU, a doctorate in 2014 and master's degree in 2013. She received her bachelor's and master's degrees of architecture from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

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