Danya Hakky of Perkins Eastman on the Imagine a Place podcast

The subtle art of placemaking.

Danya Hakky, Ph.D. is an Interior Designer and Design Researcher for Perkins Eastman, a global architecture and design firm. She is also a co-author of the recently published research paper, "The Subtle Art of Place Making," which sought to answer the question: Why do we still need to create meaningful places when virtual settings and interactions are on the rise?

The findings of this research do two things really well. First, it breaks down the fundamental role that place plays in our world today. It also includes a collection of place attributes that have been cleverly broken into note cards -- These attribute cards serve as sort of a conversation toolkit that you can use to support your design discussions among colleagues or clients.

This conversation toolkit and research paper are free for you to engage with!

Here’s the link: https://www.perkinseastman.com/white-papers/the-subtle-art-of-placemaking/

In our conversation with Danya, we hear her take on the purpose of place and the role of research in design. There are some brilliant aha moments scattered across this conversation that we know you’ll enjoy.

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • Design research
  • Creating spaces of meaning
  • Workplace culture
  • The purpose of place

More about Danya Hakky of Perkins Eastman: 

Danya Hakky is a cross-disciplinary designer and researcher specialized in understanding and influencing user behavior through design. She has led research projects within the realms of interior design, environmental psychology, and sustainability. She also explored social issues that indirectly influence design decisions, one example was a cross-generational exploration of home and self amongst communities. When designing, Danya believes in a human-centered process that fuses design and research to better inform decisions and increase creativity. Her national and international work has helped her build strong skills in design development, communication, and strategic planning.

Danya received her PhD from Virginia Tech her master’s degree in interior architecture from the University for the Creative Arts, UK and her BSc in interior design from the University of Bahrain.

Related Imagine a Place episodes:

Christian Giordano: Design is due for reinvention

Dr. Eve Edelstein (Clinicians for Design): The Intersection of Neuroscience and Architecture

James Kerrigan (Jacobs): Culture, place, and tools: The future of place making


  • Doug Shapiro
  • Danya Hakky, Ph.D
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