Some of you may have caught an interestingnews item out of
HKS, Inc., about two weeks ago. The firm is launching a nonprofit entity called the Center for Advanced Design Research and Evaluation (CADRE) that will serve as a research arm dedicated to improving the design industry’s understanding of the built environment and exploring new ideas that inform design.

The group will be headed by Tom Harvey, FAIA, MPH, FACHA, LEED AP, as president and features Dr. Debajyoti Pati, PhD, FIIA, LEED AP, as director of research. I recently had the pleasure of speaking with both men about CADRE as part of an upcoming online feature for

While HKS has been conducting research like this for a good amount of time, branching out into a nonprofit will help take some financial burden off the firm and allow it to have more success in grant-seeking efforts. Part of the organization’s mission is to provide education to the design community overall, and the long-term nature of its research projects is a notable characteristic of CADRE’s work.

The two told me that the first phase of a research project could take as long as 18 months, and the second phase as long as two to three years. As such, HKS itself won’t necessarily be able to react to what it’s learning during the course of any one design job it may be engaged in. Instead, the firm and the industry at large will eventually be exposed to its catalog of research regarding a single topic, rather than research tied to a single facility.

I’m sure we all look forward to seeing what comes out of the effort. And check back on the
HEALTHCARE DESIGN site for more on my interview with Tom Harvey and Dr. Debajyoti Pati.