CannonDesign receives award from Environmental Design Research Association

Abstract Image Research

May 30, 2024

Social Sharing

We are thrilled to share that a recent study conducted by our Director of Research, Dr. Felix Kabo, has been awarded a Certificate of Research Excellence (CORE) from the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA).

EDRA's CORE program recognizes rigorous and impactful practice-based research that sparks innovation and promotes best practices in environmental design. Our study, titled “Getting It Right: A Network-Based Approach to Site Selection for Collaboration,” explored how the layout of buildings and paths can enhance interdisciplinary scientific collaboration by increasing chance encounters and reducing the distances between collaborators.

The study compared two potential sites for Michigan State University’s new Plant & Environmental Sciences Building using network analysis to determine which site is better configured for fostering collaboration. By focusing on network metrics such as network diameter, average topological distance, and spatial network fragmentation, the findings offer a more effective approach to site selection that aligns with organizational goals of fostering interdisciplinary collaboration, thereby ensuring a better return on investment for new scientific facilities. 


  • Beyond illuminating the best site solution for this major research university, the study provides a framework for other institutions to improve their site selection processes, aligning them with organizational goals and ensuring a better return on investment.

    Felix Kabo, Ph.D., M.Arch., M.S.
    Dr. Felix Kabo Director of Research, CannonDesign

EDRA CORE’s unique evaluation framework identifies practice-based environmental design research that is not only rigorous but also meets industry challenges, pushes the boundaries of practice, recognizes the importance of research in practice, and builds on EDRA’s tradition of inquiry, reflection and collaboration. CannonDesign’s study will be formally recognized at the upcoming EDRA conference in June where Dr. Kabo will also be presenting his research. 

More about research at CannonDesign 

Our research program is focused on leveraging inquiry and innovation to drive meaningful change in design's impact on human life and society. By fostering hypothesis-driven design thinking, we tackle pressing challenges head-on and translate our findings into practical solutions that enrich the lives of our clients and communities. A key component of our program is our Research Corps, an internal network of researchers working to bring a researcher mindset to every challenge we aim to solve and every project we undertake.  

Earlier this year, Dr. Kabo was named a Research Fellow at the University of Michigan's Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies.