Auburn’s Tan awarded Center for Health Design’s Evidence-Based Design credential

AUBURN – Auburn University interior design assistant professor Lindsay Tan has been awarded the Center for Health Design’s Evidence-Based Design Accreditation and Certification, or EDAC, credential.

The credential is awarded to individuals who demonstrate a thorough understanding of how to apply an evidence-based process to the design and development of healthcare settings.

Tan is the first Auburn University faculty member and one of only a handful of professionals in Alabama to earn the credential.

Tan, who joined the faculty in Auburn’s College of Human Sciences and its top-ranked interior design program in 2011, said evidence-based design, or EBD, “is about basing your design decisions on credible research to achieve the best possible outcomes.

“Studies reveal how the design of a healthcare environment can relieve patient stress and pain, promote healing and improve overall well-being. Evidence-based design decisions can also reduce medical errors, infections and patient falls in the healthcare setting.”

This spring, Tan challenged students in the capstone healthcare design studio to design a 50,000-square-foot hospital space in Hong Kong. Students used what they learned from studying research articles to create designs that would benefit hospital staff as well as patients.

“It was very rewarding to have students be able to point to a design decision and explain how it will improve patient safety or staff retention,” said Kelly Martin, graduate teaching assistant in the healthcare course.

“We teach our students to approach design from multiple perspectives, using reliable resources to inform innovative solutions,” said Paula Peek, the W. Allen and Martha Reed Professor of Interior Design, “and having an EDAC-certified professional leading their capstone course will ensure Auburn’s emerging interior designers are prepared to participate in the EBD process.”

Sara Marberry, executive vice president of The Center for Health Design, a nonprofit organization that engages and supports professionals and organizations in the healthcare, construction and design industry to improve the quality of healthcare facilities, was one of the featured speakers invited to campus recentlyl to discuss EBD with interior design students.

“With more and more interior design and architecture programs incorporating EBD into their curriculum and encouraging faculty and students to become EDAC-certified, they’re helping create the next wave of certified industry individuals who will demonstrate an understanding of how to apply evidence-based process to the design, construction, renovation, expansion or replacement of healthcare settings,” said Marberry. “By becoming EDAC certified, Lindsay Tan has raised the bar for other instructors and students who want to transform healthcare environments using EBD.”

Tan said EBD is expected to be a major influence in the future of the healthcare design industry as it focuses on improving clinical outcomes.

“Credible research shows us just what a big impact our environment, both built and natural, has on our physical health and mental, even spiritual, wellness,” she said.

(Written by Amy Weaver)

Contacts: Lindsay Tan, College of Human Sciences, (334) 844-1334 (, or
Mike Clardy, Office of Communications and Marketing, (334) 844-9999 (