HMC Architects’ research report, “Design for Empathy: How the Environment Impacts a Cancer Patient’s Journey,” was awarded an American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Foundation’s 2021 Joel Polsky Prize.

Last year, HMC Architects conducted a study on cancer care to understand the cancer care journey by identifying opportunities to enhance patient experiences and to implement lessons learned into the firm’s cancer care facility design and delivery process. The report represents input from 12 individuals who have either been patients themselves or had a family member in treatment. It includes people across a variety of demographics as it follows their feelings, thinking, actions through diagnosis, treatment decision, active treatment, and management/follow up or end of life. The data provides new insight into what makes a cancer patient’s journey more encouraging—for them and their families or caregivers—and how design and strategy can respond to this to create better outcomes. The report also includes strategies on how we design facilities to protect immunocompromised cancer patients in the wake of the COVID-19 and future pandemics.

Given annually, the Joel Polsky Prize recognizes outstanding academic contributions to interior design through print or digital communication. This year, the ASID Foundation sought submissions focusing on the impact of design on health and wellness. To learn more, and to see the full list of winners, visit ASID’s website.