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Issue 2.1

“Life” on the Beach

The recent resurgence of user-centered work in the architecture and design fields underlines the imperative to renew concern for human subjects in the realm of person-environment research. This shift accompanies the expectation that those who do research follow standards for ethical conduct insured through the Institutional Review Board, a government-approved, formally designated group charged with appraising research endeavors that involve human subjects. In order to advance the discipline, architectural educators must model in their own scholarship rigorous and appropriate practices to protect the welfare of participants and the public while simultaneously inspiring ethical standards for students’ user-centered work. This article introduces the IRB and explains the legal, ethical, and practical requirements of architectural human-subjects work for design scholars and educators.

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