Call for Abstracts

Building for Health and Well-Being: Structures.Cities.Systems
2016 ACSA / ASPPH Fall Conference

September 22-24, 2016 | Honolulu, HI
Host School: University of Hawaii at Manoa School of Architecture
Co-chairs: Sara Jensen Carr, University of Hawaii at Manoa
                  Billie Faircloth, KieranTimberlake
                  Howard Frumkin, University of Washington


The 2016 Fall Conference co-chairs invite abstract submissions from the ACSA and ASPPH communities, as well as non-member practitioners and faculty that address the range of topics related to built environment and human health. Following are the topic areas to select from when creating and submitting your abstracts, along with optional 5 images:

Submission Deadline: May 1, 2016

Empiricism, Epistemology, and the Ethics of Intervention
One of the greatest divides we will have to confront in transdisciplinary research and practice is the radically different epistemologies between the fields of public health and design. What constitutes standards of research or empirical evidence? What are valid methods to test assumptions in complex settings? How should sources of bias and confounding be managed in research?  How should research ethics be implemented?  Most importantly, how do we translate research results into practice, to achieve healthy built environments?

Exposures, Positive and Negative
For both environmental health professionals and designers, “exposure” has traditionally connoted hazards such as air pollutants and toxic chemicals. However, the rise of chronic diseases, the focus on health promoting (“salutogenic”) as well as on dangerous environments, and the growth of ecological models, all emphasize the need for more complex approaches to “exposure.”  Infectious agents remain important, and the microbiome concept (both within the body and in the environment) opens many doors to understanding.  Other important exposures include chemicals, light, sound, nature contact, social interactions, and facilitators of physical activity. Approaches to exposure assessment include direct measurement (such as of chemical levels in air), indirect measurement (such as the use of biomarkers), the development of predictive modeling and simulation frameworks, and the use of innovative metrics such as subjective assessments of views. How do we identify and operationalize the exposures that matter for health and well-being? How do we build actionable computational models of them? And, how do we integrate many different exposures into our research and our practice?

Health as Performance Metric
Health is an input of increasing interest, but there is little consensus on standard units of measurement. What data are best suited to monitoring the performance of various built environments? How should they be validated and verified?  How should they be implemented, how do we make them actionable, and what will be the process for using them to design in the future, e.g., integrating these metrics into post-occupancy evaluations? How can we integrate and interact with real-time health metrics through real or virtual dashboards? This subtopic seeks projects that show new and novel methods for collecting, analyzing, interpreting, and/or disseminating data relating human well-being and their environments.

Converging Pedagogies
A crucial aspect to advancing knowledge on health and the built environment will be on the educational front, not just within schools of architecture but with our partners we depend upon for transdisciplinary collaboration. As more and more programs pursue research projects and joint degrees between planning, design,and public health, how will we converge and reconcile radically different pedagogies, as well as reshape existing institutional structures of the academy, departments, and degree programs? How do we create a united epistemology that speaks to the strengths of both fields? What bodies of literature do we draw from and what are innovative syllabi, teaching methods and class and degree structures that can be used?

Acupunctural Urbanism: Advocacy, Equity, and Community Based Initiatives
The built environment is only one aspect of the complex web of causes behind health inequities, but increasingly recognized as an important one. What is the implication of the built environment in increasingly racially and economically stratified cities? How can design instead operate on a platform of social justice and work to achieve the visions of the Alma Ata Declaration? To date, some of the most successful health and built environment interventions have been focused on specific communities and health issues. How can design work as a tool of empowerment? What are the difficulties and opportunities presented by community partnerships and on the ground initiatives? Additionally, how can the growing body of policies and guidelines aimed at reconnecting the fields of public health, planning, and design operate as frameworks for the future?

Making Well-Being Material: Translations to Practice
Best practices for designing for human well-being have long been the standard in healthcare design, but how can we go beyond this typology to formulate evidence-based practice in housing, work settings, schools, and even landscape and urban design? How do we start to not only evaluate, but economically value health in a way that make sense for clients and the wider public? How do we establish a body of best practices when building for various ailments and populations?  Is another standard besides best practices necessary? How can post-occupancy evaluations, a hybrid of research and program evaluation, be carried out more routinely, and their results used to inform practice?

Peer-Review Process

All abstracts will undergo a blind peer-review process. The conference co-chairs will take into consideration the evaluations furnished by the peer-reviewers and render final acceptance decisions. Selection is based on innovation, clarity, contribution to the discipline of built environment and human health, along with relevance to the specific topic.

Submission Requirements

  • Paper abstracts must not exceed 500 words, along with an optional 5 images.
  • All abstracts must be prepared for anonymous review (remove names and affiliation identification).
  • An author can present no more than two analysis at the Fall Conference.
  • Submissions must report on recently completed work, and cannot have been previously published or presented in public, except to a regional audience.
  • Submissions must be written in English.
  • All authors submitting projects or papers must be faculty, students, or staff at ACSA or ASPPH member schools, or become individual members at the time of submission.

It is policy that accepted authors must pay full conference registration in order to be included in the conference presentation and Proceedings.

How to Submit

The deadline for submitting an abstract to the Fall Conference is May 1, 2016. Authors will submit abstracts through the ACSA online interface. When submitting your abstract, you will be guided through the following steps:
1. Log in with your ACSA username and password. Forgot Password?

2. Select the Session Topic for your submission.
3. Enter the title of your abstract.
4. Enter (copy/paste) your abstract.
5. Add additional authors for your paper, if any.
6. * Omit all author names from the abstract and any other identifying information to maintain an    
   anonymous review process.
7. Click Submit to finalize your submission. Note: Your paper is not submitted unless you click the Submit
   button and receive an automatic email confirmation.

Conference Presentation

The chairs would like you to be "unconstrained" by traditional presentation formats. Accepted abstracts will have the option to be published in a digital Proceedings with a printable option and delivered in presentations during the conference. Accepted authors, who chose, will be requested to complete a full-paper, copyright transfer form and agree to present the paper at the Fall Conference before it is published in the Proceedings.

Chairs reserve the right to withhold a paper from the program if the author has refused to comply with the guidelines. Failure to comply with the conference deadlines or request for materials in advance may result in an author being dropped from the program. In the event of insufficient participation regarding a particular session topic, the conference co-chairs reserve the right to revise the conference schedule accordingly.


For questions please contact:
Eric Wayne Ellis
Allison Smith
Director of Operations and Programs
Programs Manager