A team of Perkins&Will researchers has been awarded a $30,000 grant from the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Foundation to enhance their PRECEDE dashboard, an open-access tool that draws on federal data to identify and assess community health priorities within the U.S. by location. PRECEDE, which stands for Public Repository to Engage Community & Enhance Design Equity, will help designers integrate and translate public health data into design decisions.
“We selected Perkins&Will’s proposal because of its focus on health equity at such a critical time. Their tool paves the way for a future of more equitable public health,” says S. Dawn Haynie, Ph.D., a research fellow for ASID. “It makes the traditionally complex contextual research about a specific site accessible to all designers, not just those with research expertise.”
The CDC estimates that a significant proportion of a person’s health is attributed to the quality of their environment, personal education, and any behavioral constraints that may be impacting their community. Designers have an opportunity to improve community health outcomes by designing according to these factors. However, access to the nuances within this federal data is limited, thus making it more difficult for designers to integrate such information early in the design process, when diversity and inclusion are most effectively addressed.
Identifying this gap in data and practice, the team first developed a beta version of PRECEDE in spring 2022 in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. Compared with similar public health-focused data visualization tools—most coming with limitations like not allowing the user to search by mailing address or not accounting for environmental factors—PRECEDE aggregates multiple sources into an easy-to-understand resource hub complete with best practices informed by successful case studies.