This special issue of Perkins+Will Research Journal is dedicated to capturing selected results of the Perkins+Will’s Innovation Incubator program. Innovation Incubator was initiated in 2010 as a micro-grant pro-gram to support the culture of innovation through small, focused, fast-paced investigative projects that are led by Perkins+Will employees. Over the last four years, more than one hundred projects have been funded through the program. This special issue includes articles that capture the process, methodologies and results of seven projects.
“Lighting and the Living Lab: Testing Innovative Lighting Control Systems in the Workplace” presents a study that was conducted to investigate smart lighting control strategies in an office environment. The testing was performed over a period of twelve weeks, with the intent to study the ability of different lighting control strate-gies to reduce the overall energy consumption. The results were used to determine the benefits and limitations of different control strategies, and their applicability to the tested workplace environment.
“A Case Study in Reflective Daylighting” discusses research that was performed during the design of an atrium for a higher education building, focusing on the methods to increase natural light levels through daylight redi-recting strategies. The article reviews physical and digital modeling that was performed during the design to develop reflective building geometry to light the building’s interior atrium. The article documents the research methodology, design strategies as well as technical concepts.
“Game Changers: Spaces for Innovative Learning” reviews the connection between the changing paradigms in education and the design of K-12 learning environments. It specifically focuses on the new technologies and introduction of play into learning, and how the built environment should be designed to respond to these new pedagogical directions. Examples of inventive educational facilities are also discussed as well as their physical characteristics and design.
“Is there a ‘There’ There? Online Education & ArchitectureX” “Is there a ‘There’ There? Online Education & ArchitectureX” discusses the transformations that online education has brought to higher education, and examines the impacts on physical spaces. It reviews the risks and opportunities that online education presents to the traditional campus, and explores educational models that merge online and on-campus learning experiences.
“Between Laboratory and Factory: A British Model for Innovation in Manufacturing and Applied Technologies” discusses the development of a new building type, which merges traditional research and testing functions with manufacturing to promote faster and more effective translation of laboratory discoveries into products and applications. The article discusses history and development of this new concept for academic-industry collab-orative research as well as several case studies.
“The Resource Infinity Loop: Designing Resilient Cities” presents literature review on the methods to reclaim wastewater in urban environments through natural process. The article discusses benefits to social and physi-cal health, the built environment and economics of cities. It also presents a case study, and discusses the opportunities for building ecologically resilient cities that the future requires.
“Labor-Delivery-Recovery Room Design that Facilitates Non-pharmacological Reduction of Labor Pain: A Model LDR Room Plan and Recommended Best Practices” discusses architectural design of LDR rooms that use two primary non-pharmacological methods for pain relief during delivery—relaxation through a calm physical environment, and labor in water. The article discusses development of a prototype design, taking into account relaxation, comfort, movement through the physical space, and privacy.