As an architect I’ve always been envious of the car designers and their ability to indulge in endless R&D with prototypes and test labs, refining their cool designs and pushing the limits of performance. Finally, today we are beginning to realize the dream of R&D for architects.. with Architectural Prototyping becoming an established form of research when done with appropriate rigor. Several schools of architecture have well-established labs where healthcare spaces like operating rooms and patient rooms can be mocked up first in 3D digital models, and then in real life – often in conjunction with nursing education programs and medical schools who participate in the testing. One example is Clemson University’s Architecture + Health program which has been modeling and refining the ‘patient room’ for several years. I collaborated with two of my AIA colleagues to share information about that and other research trends in this article on Research-Based Design: Breaking Down the Options published today in Healthcare Design Magazine. Check it out!