Monday, 29 February 2016
What trends can pediatric hospitals, staff, and patient families expect to see in NICU design? Family-forward design and strategies for addressing market and functional pressures.
Several of the sessions at the Gravens Conference on neonatal intensive care earlier this month focused on strategies for enhancing the NICU experience for parents and other family members. As a parent of a former NICU baby and now a healthcare architect for a firm with an extensive pediatric hospital portfolio, I found this heartening.
Among the new parent-supportive room types are
- Couplet Care Rooms, which combine the functions ...[more]
Tuesday, 26 January 2016
In all sizes and colors, they congregate on monitors, desktops, and walls. We use them as reminders to ourselves and others. They help us think and synthesize.
Most of all, they help us communicate and collaborate with each other and our clients. Whether bent into an impromptu stair model or used in a client workshop, they are part of our design process.
The installation in our office and the video below are a tribute and yet another adaptation of the mighty sticky note, which first originated as a mistake in the labs of ...[more]
Monday, 25 January 2016
What can seem simple or mundane to us, can be magical through the eyes of a child. How often do we, as designers, grab our sketchbooks every day? We all use them in different ways: some of our sketchbooks are filled with meticulous drawings. Others, like mine, have pages filled with meeting notes and project to-do lists, with the occasional reminder to pick up a black shirt to complete a Halloween costume.
I carry my sketchbook with me everywhere, fill the pages, and grab another. What I write is not precious, it’s ...[more]
Friday, 6 November 2015
Everyone in the design community is talking about Virtual Reality, and that’s not surprising. It seems like every new design tool and technology comes with a promise to help us work more efficiently and more effectively. As a rookie user, I have to say that my VR experience has opened my eyes to the future of design.
When Angeline from our IT team mentioned that she’d been developing a virtual tool that would let users experience their 3D SketchUp models in VR, I jumped at the chance to test it on the NICU (neonatal ...[more]
Thursday, 23 July 2015
The Hobson Award is the highest level of design award given annually by the Boston Society of Architects. The AIAS Chapter at MassArt and the BSA have fostered a wonderful, collaborative relationship over the past five years. This relationship led to a phone call last fall asking if our chapter would design and create the next Hobson award.
It felt like being asked to design an Oscar, and we were thrilled to get started. I was one of five students who volunteered to participate. By brilliant happenstance, every grade level in the architecture department ...[more]
Tuesday, 31 March 2015
It would be difficult to imagine the ‘typical’ community college student.
They are from the local community or from across the world; working two jobs but still making time for school; they are in their late teens, their early 60s and every age in between. Some are married, some are single, and many have children. As a population, they have no typical family structure, life style, ethnicity, or national origin.
What they do have in common is a shared sense of focus, drive, and motivation and, often, little prior exposure to higher education. Many are ...[more]
Tuesday, 10 March 2015
One of an occasional series
A series of new initiatives, programs and buildings have sprung up at America’s colleges and universities.
These come in response to a growing set of expectations for higher education coming from both the academic community and society at large. Driven by technological change and increasingly diverse populations, the academy has risen to meet these expectations with a variety of cross-disciplinary problem-based research efforts, new curricula, novel teaching methods and links to the commercial sector. Increasingly, these new behaviors and programs are being grouped under the banner of ‘Innovation’ and housed in ...[more]
Monday, 12 January 2015
The American campus is unique as a Utopian construct that creates a setting for scholarship that keeps nature close. At the turn of the last century, the vision of Frederick Law Olmsted in turn influenced the campuses of John Russell Pope, Jens Larson, and others.
Many of the campuses that were designed in this spirit have seen this rhythm of landscape and built form disrupted and diminished over the decades as institutions bowed to the pressure to accommodate new programs. This was exacerbated by a generation of academic buildings that focused inward, turning their ...[more]