DESmart Lab

Transforming building design strategies through multidisciplinary research

We conduct research in smart building technology, human-building / human-light interactions, artificial intelligence, healthy and biological lighting, healthy building design, and sustainability. Interested in collaborating with DESmart Lab, please contact Dr. Sharp at 


DESmart Lab Secures AAC Grant for Groundbreaking Field Study Investigating Impact of Multi-Sensory Environments on Mood and Sleep Quality in Older Adults with Dementia.

August 1st, 2023

Dr. Sharp is set to collaborate with Dr. Jason Yeom (ASU TDS), Dr. Aaron Guest (ASU CIHRA), and Dr. Melita Belgrave (ASU School of Music) in a research endeavor aimed at evaluating the impact of two cost-effective interventions for patients with Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD) in long-term care facilities. The study will specifically examine the effectiveness of a morning Stimulating Multi-Sensory Environment (SMSE) and an evening Relaxing Multi-Sensory Environment (RMSE). This research aims to provide practical insights into the design and application of Multi-Sensory Environments (MSEs), utilizing elements such as light, sound, and aroma to enhance the overall quality of life for individuals with BPSD.

This project is funded by the Arizona Alzheimer's Consortium.  

Edson New Idea Fund Illuminates Breakthrough Research: Unveiling the Impact of Lighting and Thermal Innovations on Cognitive Performance in Older Adults with Mild Cognitive Impairments  

July 1st, 2023

Dr. Sharp will collaborate with Dr. Jason Yeom (ASU TDS) and Dr. Molly Mayfield (ASU CIHRA) to the synergic effects of lighting and thermal conditions on cognitive perfromance and physiological signals of older adults with mild cognitive impairments. This is an in-laboratory experiment. 

The project is funded by Edson New Idea fund.  

DESmart Lab Teams Up with Mayo Clinic to Uncover the Influence of Hospital Lighting and Thermal Conditions on ICU Staff's Cognitive Performance and Stress Levels.

June 20th, 2023

In a groundbreaking collaboration, DESmart Lab is teaming up with Mayo Clinic Arizona and Rochester to delve into the synergistic effects of lighting and thermal environments in Intensive Care Units (ICUs) and their influence on the physiological, psychological, and cognitive health of medical staff. Dr. Sharp, leading the charge, will work alongside esteemed collaborators including Dr. Jason Yeom (ASU TDS), Dr. Aaron Guest (ASU CIHRA), Dr. Michael Todd (ASU Edson College), Dr. Renaldo Blocker (Mayo Clinic Rochester), and Dr. Oana Dumitrascu (Mayo Clinic Arizona). Employing a meticulously designed pilot project, the research will entail precise measurements of lighting and thermal conditions in ICUs at two Mayo Clinic hospitals, one located in the vibrant Phoenix Metro Area and the other in Rochester. This dynamic collaboration holds the promise of unveiling profound insights into the holistic well-being of medical professionals in the high-stakes environment of Intensive Care Units.

This project is funded by The Design School and Institute of Social Science Research at Arizona State University.  

Presentations at the 2023 Healthy Buildings Europe, EDRA54, and 2023 IES Annual Conference 

June 15th, 2023

Dr. Sharp will present the findings of recent clinical trials on human-light interactions conducted at DESmart lab in several conferences worldwide including Aachen, Germany, Mexio City, Mexico, and Chicago, USA.  

NSF Brain Grant to explore the relationship between daily light exposure and sleep, cognition, physical activity, and risk of falls in older adults. 

January 23rd, 2023

Dr. Sharp will collaborate with Dr. Thurmon Lockhart (ASU Fulton College of Engineering) and Dr. Jason Yeom (ASU TDS) to explore older adults’ daily light exposure pattern and model its relationship with their cognitive performance and sleep quality. We will also measure daily activity levels and mood as other variables to find their moderating effects on the relationship between light, sleep, and cognition. 

In this project, the research team will work with Waymark Garden Senior Living Facility. 

The project is funded by NSF Brian grant.  

AAC Grant to examine the effects of lighting on sleep and mood in older adults with dementia 

August 1st, 2022

Dr. Sharp will join Dr. Shawn Youngstedt (ASU Edson college), Dr. Molly Mayfield (ASU CIHRA), Dr. Jason Yeom (ASU TDS) to the effect of a dynamic lighting intervention on sleep quality, circadian activity rhythms, and mood in older adults with dementia living in long-term care facilities. The dynamic lighting intervention is designed to create an ambient illumination that provides a high level of circadian stimulation in the morning and circadian-neutral lighting in the evenings through delivering varying light intensity and spectrum. 

This project is funded by the Arizona Alzheimer's Consortium.  

Korrus Inc. sponsored DESmart Lab to conduct a clinical trial on the potential of biodynamic lighting to create a healthy working environment for remote workers

January 10th, 2022

DESmart Lab is sponsored by Korrus Inc. to study the effectiveness of applying biodynamic lighting in home-based working places on sleep, cognition, and productivity of remote workers. The biodynamic intervention is an innovative lighting solution that intends to harness both visual and non-visual effects of lighting through delivering varying intensities and spectra during working hours according to a preset protocol. The lighting intervention will be applied through a customized smart lighting system. 

In this study, Dr. Sharp collaborates with Dr. Jamie Zietzer from Stanford University. The study is registered as a clinical trial on website (ID#: NCT05481424).