Skip to main content
News — Press Releases
Published on

Corgan and University of Arkansas Win AIA Upjohn Research Initiative Grant to Study ADHD and Workplace Design

DALLAS—(BUSINESS WIRE)—Global architecture and design firm Corgan, in partnership with the University of Arkansas, has received a research grant from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Upjohn Research Initiative to study workplace design for neurodivergent people, specifically for those with ADHD. Corgan—Hugo, the firm’s research and innovation group, will partner with the university on research with the goal of identifying successful inclusive design strategies.

Between 15-20% of the world’s population has some form of neurodivergence, like ADHD, which is associated with more than 120 million lost workdays of productivity annually in the U.S., with a financial impact of $19.5 billion. For people with ADHD, environments that are overstimulating can be challenging. During an 18-month period, the Corgan—Hugo and University of Arkansas research teams will study how different design elements, such as sound, light, movement and visual distraction, impact people with inattentive type-ADHD. Researchers will measure participants’ brain activity with an electroencephalogram (EEG) before, during, and after interventions are applied in two types of workplaces — open workstations and private offices. Qualitative observed insights and self-reported feedback from participants will inform the research as well.

The resulting research findings will be published in a report — Inattentiveness Reduction through Environmental Interventions: Workplace Design for Inattentive Type ADHD — providing insights on how strategic design can improve attentiveness for individuals in office environments. Corgan will make the research insights accessible to designers all over the world via a workspace design guidebook in the spring 2025.

“With an increasing emphasis on productivity in today's office settings - not just from employers but as it applies to workers' satisfaction - this grant empowers us to explore tunable, environmental solutions that can benefit everyone," said Melissa Hoelting, Senior Design Research Lead of Corgan—Hugo.

The AIA Upjohn Research Initiative supports research projects that enhance the value of design, funding up to six research grants annually. In 2023, the initiative called for submissions relating to zero-carbon, resilient design, equitable communities, health, circular building economy, and practice innovation.

Explore more Corgan research insights at News & Insights | Corgan.


Corgan is an employee-owned architecture and design firm with 17 locations and nearly 1,000 team members globally. The firm, ranked as the #4 architecture firm by Building Design + Construction, works with clients in a variety of sectors including aviation & mobility, data centers, education, health, mixed-use, multifamily, office, and workplace. Founded in 1938, Corgan has developed a strong reputation for agility in design by anticipating marketplace changes and leading clients to thoughtful, data-driven design solutions. Its research insights and design expertise empower the organization to foresee emerging changes and develop solutions that minimize risk, create flexibility, and maximize longevity. To learn more about Corgan, visit

Media Inquiries

  • media [at] (media[at]corgan[dot]com)


Contact Us

Collaborate with Corgan

Contact Us


Shape the Next Built Environment

See Open Positions