Texas Tech University

Improving Lives Through Human-Centric Design—An Interior and Environmental Design Ph.D. Student’s Journey

Lauren Hosni

May 1, 2024

Ladan Khalvati

Doctoral program student, Ladan Khalvati shares her experience within the Department of Design

Ladan Khalvati is pursuing her Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Interior and Environmental Design from the College of Health and Human Sciences and a graduate certificate in Urban and Community Design from the Huckabee College of Architecture. She plans to graduate in December of 2026.

Khalvati chose this field of study because she loves the creative process of design and is fascinated by the potential of design that shapes our interactions with the built environment. This understanding drives her passion for creating inclusive and sustainable spaces that prioritize human needs and experiences. 

She is focusing on designing outdoor learning environments for children with developmental disabilities. 

“This major captures my belief in the transformative power of design to positively impact individuals and communities,” Khalvati said. 

By pursuing a Ph.D. in Interior and Environmental Design, she is committed to advancing knowledge in this field and contributing to the creation of environments that enrich lives and foster social inclusion. 

“This program provides a stimulating academic environment that fosters interdisciplinary collaboration, critical research, and creative problem-solving,” Khalvati said. “I have deepened my understanding of environmental design principles and expanded my expertise in design.”

After completing her Ph.D., she envisions herself maintaining an active role as a professional designer in the real world. She wants to better prepare students for the challenges of the environmental design profession. She will do this by combining her knowledge of industry practices with research endeavors.

“I seek to empower students to become socially responsible and environmentally conscious designers that are equipped with the skills and knowledge to address complex challenges in the built environment,” Khalvati said. 

Khalvati mentioned that the college's emphasis on research and community engagement aligns with her own values and aspirations, making it an ideal academic home for her graduate studies. 

“I am forever grateful for the opportunity to be part of this program and extend a heartfelt thanks to all my fantastic professors, staff, classmates, and everyone who has supported and encouraged me on my journey thus far,” Khalvati said. 

Khalvati has received many awards in 2024. Here is a list of the ones she's received so far:

  • 3rd Place Winner at 23rd Annual Graduate Student Research Poster Competition at Texas Tech University
  • Her paper 'The Impact of Integrating Natural Elements on Healthcare Design: A Brief Review' is accepted by the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA)
  • Selected to be a judge for the ASID Metropolitan Builders & Contractors Association of New Jersey Design Excellence Awards
  • Selected to be a judge for the ASID Florida North 2024 Impact Design Awards
  • Selected to be a judge for the ASID South Central 2024 Excellence in Design Awards
  • Selected to be a reviewer for the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA55) Conference
  • Selected to be a reviewer for the journal Frontiers of Architectural Research