Craig Zimring headshot

Craig Zimring

Professor Emeritus

Craig Zimring

Professor Emeritus


Doctor of Philosophy, Environmental Psychology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1978
Master of Science, Psychology, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 1976


Environmental psychology, Active living, Evidence-based design, Healthcare safety and effectiveness, Patient-centered care


An environmental psychologist and professor of architecture, Craig Zimring directs the SimTigrate Design Lab. He and his colleagues and students focus on how innovative, research-informed design can improve health and healthcare, and how research can be incorporated into classroom teaching, both to improve design and help students develop skills for practice. He has conducted over $7M in research with and for Mayo Clinic, Emory Healthcare, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Military Health System, HKS Architects, HDR Architects, and many others, including safety-net clinics and international providers of healthcare. He has published over 100 scholarly and professional publications and received 11 awards for his research. He has given numerous keynote and plenary addresses to organizations and meetings such as Australian Healthcare Week, Institute for Patient and Family-Centered Care, and Chinese Hospital Association. His Ph.D. and master's graduates serve in teaching and leadership positions in universities and practice.

He currently serves on the board of the Center for Health Design and has served on the boards of the Environmental Design Research Association, the National Academies’ Board on Infrastructure and the Constructed Environment, the Joint Commission’s Roundtable on the Hospital of the Future and other organizations. In addition to his work on healthcare, Dr. Zimring served as a senior scientist in developing the 2010 New York City Active Design Guidelines and was a founding member of the Center for Active Design.

Cai, H. and C. Zimring (2017). "Cultural impacts on nursing unit design: A comparative study on Chinese nursing unit typologies and their US counterparts using space syntax." Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science: 2399808317715639.

Casanova, L. M., K. Erukunuakpor, V. L. Walsh, C. Kraft, A. Shane, S. Ray, M. E. Denham, C. Zimring and J. T. Jacob (2017). "Multicenter Evaluation of Viral Self-Contamination during Doffing of Ebola-Level Personal Protective Equipment." American Journal of Infection Control 45(6): S17.

MacAllister, L. ; Zimring, C.; Ryherd, E (2016). Environmental Variables That Influence Patient Satisfaction: A Review of the Literature. HERD : Health Environments Research & Design Journal, 10.1 155-169.

Ryherd E; Ackerman J; Zimring C; Persson Waye K (2013).  The healthcare acoustics research team: Bridging the gap between architecture, engineering, and medicine. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 134 (5) (pp. 4041 - 4041) 10.1121/1.4830749

Nicoll, G., & Zimring, C. (2009). Effect of Innovative Building Design on Physical Activity. Journal of Public Health Policy, 30, S111-S123.

Sadler, B. L., DuBose, J., & Zimring, C. M. (2008). The business case for building better hospitals through evidence-based design. Health Environments Research & Design, 1(3).

Ulrich, R. S., Zimring, C. M., Zhu, X., DuBose, J., Seo, H., Choi, Y., et al. (2008). A review of the research literature on evidence-based healthcare design. Health Environments Research & Design, 1(3), 61-125.

Patient-Centered Medical Home Clinic Analysis (The US Defense Health Agency). This project supports the US Defense Agency by creating tools for planning and design of next-generation primary care clinics that provide efficient and effective care and excellent patient experience.

A Conceptual Analysis of Healing Spaces (Samueli Foundation) This paper extends evidence-based design to a broader framework of salutogenic design.

Understand the Sleep Ecology of the Inpatient Room (Hill-Rom Corporation). This project explored the importance of sleep for inpatients and the role of design in improving the conditions for sleep. It also establishes a long-term relationship with the Hill-Rom Corporation early innovation team.

Supporting High-Performing Multidisciplinary Care Teams by Integrated Team Rooms (Cherokee Indian Hospital Authority). This project explored how the design of open-plan team rooms can support effective communication among primary care teams.

Support of SimTigrate Design Lab Research on healthcare lighting. $59,000 contribution. (Philips Corporation)

Understanding the Role of Healthcare Facility Design in the Acquisition and Prevention of Infection 9/2011-3/2013 $228,565 (US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality - via RTI International). This project explored the role of facility design in the acquisition and prevention of healthcare-associated infections, through a systematic literature review and the development of a conceptual framework.

Health Center of the Future—A multidisciplinary class taught with faculty colleagues and guest instructors such as nurses and physicians.

Evidence-Based Design—Integrating research and evidence into design, including developing skills in finding, creating and evaluating evidence and integrating it into design.