Rana Bazaid, Department of Design Ph.D. candidate, recognized for the Joel Polsky Academic Achievement Award
Department of Design (DOD) Ph.D. candidate, Rana Bazaid, was recently recognized as the Joel Polsky Academic Achievement Award recipient. The award acknowledges an outstanding interior design research project and thesis related to wellness and design.
Bazaid's research focused on the connection between biophilic theory, exposure to nature indoors, and the restorative effects on nurses in the ICU unit to increase positive sensory stimulation to reduce burnout and stress levels. She analyzed biophilic theory through stress recovery theory and stimulation theory. She then proposed benefits to physical, mental, and behavioral wellbeing that might be used to reduce nurse stress and burnout in ICUs. After considering those factors, Bazaid proposed four categories of design: courtyard, the layout of the surgical ICU, nurses' workstations, and their breakroom.
"I found that there is a conceivable cause between the physical environment and nurses' burnout and stress, as shown in theoretical assumption and lecturer review," Bazaid said. "The findings suggest that having biophilic patterns in the physical design of the ICU unit, workstation, and breakroom could play both a direct and indirect role in influencing emotion."
This study was conducted to analyze the connection of nature indoors in healthcare facilities, educational institutions, and innovation spaces. She wanted to work to improve the wellbeing and environment of healthcare workers through beneficial indoor surroundings in hopes of reducing stress and burnout. Bazaid says she worked hard for her findings to benefit healthcare workers and said she was honored to be selected for the award.
"The award makes me feel proud and delighted,” Bazaid said. “It is a recognition of justification for the effort put in to achieve this honor. It is a recognition of justification for the effort put in to achieve this."
Because of her experience in the Interior and Environmental design Ph.D. program, she was given the opportunity to work as an intern for a local architecture and design firm. The Interior and Environmental Design doctoral degree allows students like Bazaid to explore ways to improve the environment with a research focus on designing for environmental sustainability.
"The Interior and Environmental Design program expands my knowledge of interior design, especially how indoor environments influence users' wellbeing and experience," Bazaid said. "As a Ph.D. Student, I improved my skills in research and finding innovative solutions from other disciplines to fill gaps in the interior design field."
The Department of Design has a strong reputation for excellence and aims to guide students through innovative research and problem-solving approaches. The faculty and doctoral students tackle practical challenges that impact society, addressing environmental and interior design issues. Students, including Bazaid, are recognized for their accomplishments and achievements that impact the environment and community around them.