Meredith Banasiak, M.Arch., EDAC
Design Researcher, Boulder Associates Architects
Senior Instructor, Program in Environmental Design, University of Colorado
Meredith cultivates multi-disciplinary research, knowledge sharing, and application to inform design innovation which optimizes health, performance and access. Her experience in research, practice and pedagogy supports the transformational shift in design towards an evidence-based, person-centered culture. As a faculty member in architecture and environmental design programs, Meredith integrated neuro and cognitive science concepts in her studio and lecture-based courses to facilitate designing for human diversity across physical, sensory and cognitive abilities. As a design researcher, she is responsible for cultivating research partnerships with healthcare organizations, exploring novels methods for conducting real-time research, and gathering and translating evidence with designers.
In 2005, I joined ANFA’s program of Research Associates established to train a handful of emerging architects in neuroscience, and neuroscientists in architecture, so that we might build bridges between the disciplines. One of my responsibilities was to coordinate ANFA’s workshops bringing together key players in neuroscience and architecture around a central topic to investigate convergence points for potential research studies. Cultivating a common vocabulary was critical to the success of these workshops and partnerships. During my time with ANFA, I acquired lab experience at KIDLAB, George Mason University. Using behavioral paradigms and fMRI technology, we examined context effects on attention and reasoning across populations prone to compromised executive function. My research examining distractions, context dependent emotional regulation and environmental interventions, builds on this formative experience. As a university faculty member, I promoted ANFA’s mission in my human factors courses by updating environmental psychology pedagogy to include new neuroscience knowledge describing human-environment relationships. I advocate that design education be reconsidered to prepare future designers in evidence-based design. In an effort to promote inclusive design which prioritizes human diversity across physical, sensory and cognitive abilities, I participated as co-PI in an NEA-funded initiative to integrate universal design into university curricula. I am most grateful to ANFA for granting me a pioneering role in shaping neuroarchitecture, which resulted in the opportunity to train hundreds of students to be better designers by virtue of this knowledge, and to have spearheaded research in this emerging discipline.
Banasiak, M. (2019). A Sensory Place for All. In G. Lindsay (Ed.), Contemporary Museum Architecture and Design: Theory and Practice of Place. New York: Routledge.
Banasiak, M., Blaser, M., Reeves, K. (2018). Supporting eating disorder recovery through design: A translational application of neuroscience evidence to the design of a treatment facility. Poster presented at 2018 Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture Conference, La Jolla, CA.
Lindberg, C., Banasiak, M., Shindler, R., Sternberg, E. (2018). Chapter 7: Place and Wellbeing: The Next Frontier of Integrative Medicine. In Carmona, R. (Ed.), Textbook of Integrative Preventive Medicine. New York: Oxford University Press.
Lindberg, C., Banasiak, M., & Tran, D. (2016). Individual differences in the office: The interaction of personality factors and workplace enclosure. Journal of Architectural and Planning Research.
Kalbfleisch, L., DeBettencourt, M., Kopperman, R., Banasiak, M., Roberts, J. and Halavi, M. (2013). Environmental influences on neural systems of relational complexity. Frontiers in Psychology, 4(631).