Interior Design Awarded $85,000 for Sustainable Adaptive Material Practicum Lab

August 28, 2023
By: Kyle Niblett

The University of Florida Department of Interior Design will soon have a Sustainable Adaptive Material Practicum Lab (SAMPL), thanks to an $85,000 gift from the Angelo Donghia Foundation. The timeline for SAMPL development will commence in August of 2023, with the piloting of SAMPL resources scheduled to begin in Fall 2024.

“Interior materiality plays a critical role in creating resilient environments,” said Dr. Lisa Sundahl-Platt, an interior design assistant professor and faculty member inside the Florida Institute for Built Environment Research (FIBER). “Interior Design students must receive an education that supports them in gaining lasting knowledge, skills, and abilities to select and specify safe, environmentally friendly, and adaptive materials for ensuring building occupant health and well-being.”

Sharing SAMPL-derived resources with the rest of the UF College of Design, Construction and Planning will be a key initiative for the Department of Interior Design. The purpose of SAMPL will be to create an enhanced materiality educational curriculum, as well as new physical and computational research support platforms. This new synergistic tool will then guide the selection and specification of resilient interior materials that improve human health and well-being.

Design students at DCP will soon be able to better consider holistic interior material design development approaches as it relates to design and construction models. In addition to driving logic models, both students and design practitioners will receive a more thorough education on how interior materials impact building sustainability and regenerative design potential.

“Using resilience logic models to inform material selection and interior environment research is a viable way to ensure that these spaces are universal in their design, sustainable, and responsive to evolving user experience and safety performance needs,” Platt explained.

The SAMPL development effort will be led by Dr. Sundahl-Platt. The SAMPL expert steering committee will include Interior Design Department Chair Roberto Rengel, Associate Professors Dr. Sheila Bosch and Dr. Nam-Kyu Park, and Assistant Professor Dr. Shabboo Valipoor.

“We are profoundly grateful to the Angelo Donghia Foundation for supporting the development of this unique resource,” Platt finished with. “SAMPL will be an unparalleled asset in expanding ongoing interior materiality research and teaching efforts. It will also support ongoing and new actionable design and research engagement efforts with industry and community collaborators.”

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