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The People and Stories Behind Design For A Difference

Experience the movement that is transforming spaces and people across the U.S. and Canada. Inspiring and informative, this blog is dedicated to all of those who make a difference with design in our every day lives.

How DFAD Projects Forge Evidence Based Design

Think about the last time you walked into a newly built or remodeled healthcare facility… let’s say a hospital or outpatient center. The lobby was probably expansive and grand, with lots of natural light. The décor a welcoming scheme of soft earthy colors, complemented by live plants or trees, and possibly a fountain echoing the gentle sound of trickling water. The temperature was not too hot or cold, but embraced you with comfort. And navigation to your destination was easy, by means of signage or a helpful reception area. Chances are, your overall experience felt calming and natural. What you encountered was no accident. It was the result of Evidence Based Design (EBD)…

What is EBD?

Evidence Based Design is the practice of using research and data when making decisions about physical space in an effort to achieve the best possible outcomes.  

Most commonly acknowledged for creating healing environments in healthcare-focused facilities, EBD has naturally become a school of thought for the interior designers across the industry; in both residential and commercial design, including retail spaces, offices, hotels, restaurants, museums, and even prisons.

How Does Design for a Difference Support EBD?

As Evidence Based Design continues to reveal the positive impact it can have on people, DFAD remains at the forefront of this innovative movement, so much in fact, that the life-changing results of our makeovers is the reason DFAD continues to pick up momentum every year. Designers understand the significance that design has on the quality of the human experience. And DFAD brings an invaluable opportunity to passionate designers to share their talents with those who can benefit from it most.

Design Changes Lives

Our makeovers transform spaces of charities that reach out to people from all walks of life. Many facilities are closely related to healthcare, or provide services to individuals with mental, physical, emotional, and financial needs. But at the core of our mission, we believe that design changes lives, so it’s imperative for our DFAD teams to carefully create spaces that encourage a safe and happy environment for everyone involved.

Pretty and Practical

With the participation of IDG showrooms, designers, and local businesses, a completed space will address many aspects of EBD, both aesthetically and functionally. New floors are installed to give the space a clean slate. Walls are painted or resurfaced, and ceilings tiled. Design and furniture plans maximize usability, which brings forth a new vision for how a space can be used. And color and décor are implemented in ways that define the general mood of the room. 

The Reports are In

Our makeovers continually prove that details matter, and the end result is positive across the board. Recipients are amazed when their new spaces are revealed, but the excitement continues as they settle in: An overall feeling of happiness is regularly reported; and besides enjoying an updated and beautiful space, there is a snowball effect of benefits credited to our renovations.

New activities are often added, depending on the needs of the charity, and productivity is increased. Staff members often times report higher job satisfaction. And real changes are being seen in lowered behavioral incidents where children or special needs individuals are being cared for. What used to be old, gloomy or even unsafe facilities, are being transformed into optimal healing environments that support Evidence Based Design.

Growth Rates are High

And the power of smart design is not confined within the walls of the charity. Executive directors are blown away by the impact their fresh starts have on community support as well. People are drawn to visit more often, donate more, and get involved because of the welcoming environments and public awareness brought by DFAD and supporting local media. In the end, these non-profits are able to help more people due to new growth, and that in itself is something to get excited about.

Our projects continue to make a lasting impression on non-profit organizations positioning Design For A Difference as a pioneer and driving force in Evidence Based Design. In our minds, it’s clearly evident: Design Makes a Difference.

Watch the impact DFAD has on people >