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More Than Just Looking Good: Toward an Evidence-Based Design Practice in Affordable Housing

Mar 10th, 2008

When asked how design can enhance the economic and social performance of affordable housing, architects often resort to hunches or dated generalizations. Relying on the certainty of our anecdotes may come back to haunt us—and the residents for whom we build.

This paper speaks to this concern by first briefly profiling the evidence-based practice of healthcare design, and deriving a general framework for the development of such evidence-based practice within the affordable housing arena.

It then describes two initiatives at the Stardust Center that reflect components of this evidence-based design orientation. It concludes by recommending further efforts to foster an evidence-seeking design culture within affordable housing design practice.

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