Archive for the ‘Building Design’ Category

EBD Boot Camp – Boot Camp for Evidence-Based Design

Monday, August 26th, 2013

EBD Boot Camp

It’s back to school! On September 12-14, the Texas A&M Center for Health Systems and Design will hold a two-day work session on evidence-based design. EBD Boot Camp is a practical interactive work session that will give design professionals, developers, researchers, and others the practical experience of applying relevant evidence in their work.

Led by Texas A&M experts, the September Boot Camp is the first of four work sessions sponsored by the Center for Health Systems and Design. Another fall EBD Boot Camp session takes place October 24-26; two more sessions will follow in 2014, February 6-8 and March 20-22. The organizers describe the hands-on workshop in this way:

This is not a superficial conference presentation about theory. It is a unique, no-nonsense, limited attendance and hands-on work session using relevant evidence to develop the real project on your desk.

Want to learn how to incorporate evidence-based design into your work?  Bring a current project and learn how to use and integrate relevant evidence through a hands-on, interactive work session with expert guides.

WHERE:
Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas

WHEN:
September 12-14, 2013 or October 24-26, 2013

REGISTRATION:
$1700 per person, $1450 for each additional person – same firm. Limited to 8 attendees per session.

FACULTY:
D. Kirk Hamilton, FAIA, FACHA, EDAC
Mardelle Shepley, D.Arch, AIA, LEED AP, EDAC
James W. Varni, PhD
Susan D. Rodiek, PhD, NCARB, EDAC
Zofia Rybkowski, PhD,LEED AP
Xuemei Zhu, PhD
Zhipeng Lu, PhD

OPEN TO:
Architects, Landscape Architects, Engineers, Designers, Project Managers, Researchers, Technology Experts, Librarians, Developers, and Building Owners

CERTIFICATE:
Attendees who complete the EBD Boot Camp, perform the assigned work and pass the review exam will receive an Advanced Practitioner Certificate from the Center for Health Systems & Design at Texas A&M University.

For more information contact Judy Pruitt at(979) 845-7009 or jpruitt@tamu.edu. To register, click here. For more information, read the EBD Boot Camp flier.

 

“Biophilic Design: The Architecture of Life”

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

A documentary on the biophilic approach to designing cities, suburbs

A new film takes viewers on a journey from our evolutionary past and architecture’s  origins to the world’s most celebrated buildings in a search for the architecture of life.  The documentary, “Biophilic Design: The Architecture of Life” by Stephen Kellert and Bill Finnegan will be featured October 23 at New York City’s AIA Center for Architecture.

Kellert and Finnegan’s film explores innovative ways of designing the places where we live, work, and learn, and will be introduced by Stephen Kellert. As one reviewer put it: “The film plainly states that bad design is part of the cause of environmental degradation and that good design is part of the solution.”

The producers describe their film in this way:

“Biophilic Design is an innovative way of designing the places where we live, work, and learn. We need nature in a deep and fundamental fashion, but we have often designed our cities and suburbs in ways that both degrade the environment and alienate us from nature. The recent trend in green architecture has decreased the environmental impact of the built environment, but it has accomplished little in the way of reconnecting us to the natural world, the missing piece in the puzzle of sustainable development.”

The film screening, followed by a panel discussion, is co-sponsored by the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and the Yale Alumni Association of New York. For a sneak peek of the film, view the trailer now.  If you have questions, please contact Georgia Silvera Seamans or visit this film screening site.

The book, Biophilic Design: The Theory, Science, and Practice of Bringing Buildings to Life, edited by Kellert, Judith Heerwagen, and Martin Mador is also excellent.

What: Documentary, “Biophilic Design: The Architecture of Life”

When: Tuesday, October 23, 2012, 12:15 – 2:45 p.m.

Where:  AIA Center for Architecture, Hines Gallery, 536 LaGuardia Place, NYC

 

Community Engagement & the Built Environment conference

Monday, April 30th, 2012
Head Start Preschool, Seattle, WA                    Photo by Filiz Satir

Head Start Preschool Play Yard, Seattle, WA. Photo by Filiz Satir

Community Built Association Conference: May 30-June 2, 2012

The Community Built Association (CBA) will hold its annual conference in Portland, OR, May 30 – June 2. The interdisciplinary gathering is open to all those interested in community engagement through the lenses of art, play, nature, and the built environment.  The conference features presentations and panel discussions related to play environments, gardens and green spaces, public art, and community-engaged architecture. The conference at Portland’s Tabor Space, 5441 S.E. Belmont Street will  include:

  • Presentations and discussions from leaders in the field of community-based practice;
  • Hands-on workshops that will engage participants’ creativity while they contribute something of lasting value to the local community;
  • Tours of local “place-making” sites around Portland, where volunteers have shaped community spaces with their own hands over time; and
  • Informal networking and sharing sessions with inspirational community builders from Portland and around the country.

Artists, architects, builders, organizers, gardeners, planners, and others are all welcome. To learn more and register for the conference, visit the CBA Web site: http://communitybuilt.org/conference/portland_2012.

 

Therapeutic Landscapes with The Patron Saint of Architecture

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

"The Patron Saint of Architecture" blog image courtesty of Angela Mazzi

This week on the blog, “The Patron Saint of Architecture,” Angela Mazzi features therapeutic landscapes through an interview with me. She asked some excellent, thought-provoking questions that get to the heart of what therapeutic landscapes are, how they function, why they’re necessary, and what designers and healthcare providers can do to make sure that they get incorporated into their projects.

Angela is an architect who specializes in healthcare. Her blog explores all sorts of aspects of healthcare-related design, including (of course) design, as well as business strategies, communication techniques, and “thoughts on how to get and stay inspired as a designer.”

Here are a couple snippets, but I encourage you to read the full post on The Patron Saint of Architecture blog.

How Does your Garden Grow? The Role of Therapeutic Landscapes in Design, by Angela Mazzi

What does landscaping mean to you?  Most likely, not nearly enough.  Too easily, we view it as decorative, a “nice to have” part of a project.  However, as we learn more about salutogenic design and the effects of the environment on wellness (everything from healing to better job performance), landscape starts to become a critical element, one which should form the basis of design.  With this in mind, I asked Naomi Sachs, Founder and Director of the Therapeutic Landscapes Network (TLN) to share some insights on the power of nature.

What is the difference between landscaping and a garden?  Is it only about habitation?

In general, I would say that a “landscape” is any outdoor space, wild or designed, and a “garden” is a designed space. A restorative landscape is simply an outdoor space that makes you feel good when you’re in it. To me, “landscaping” implies decorative elements like a lawn, shrubs, some trees, and is not necessarily intended for interaction.  A therapeutic (or healing) garden is a space designed for a specific population (children, cancer patients, people with Alzheimer’s) and a specific intended outcome (stress reduction, positive distraction, rehabilitation). This is not to say that landscaping isn’t important. Well-designed and maintained landscapes communicate to patients and their families that they will receive a high level of care, and this can happen from the moment you cross the property line.  Even areas such as parking lots can utilize landscape to provide and reinforce the overall image and mission of the facility.

Maintenance is always a concern when it comes to landscaping- I’ve actually worked with healthcare clients who wanted nothing but grass in the areas they “had” to landscape for ease of maintenance.  What kind of recommendations can you make to landscape skeptics about using plantings?

Access to nature just makes good business sense. Studies by Roger Ulrich, confirmed by others, have demonstrated less need for pain medication, improved patient satisfaction, faster recovery rates, and many other examples of improved outcomes for patients and staff. When you really look at the benefits of providing access to nature, the return on investment (ROI) justifies the initial cost and lifetime maintenance.  Hospitals need to see landscaping as a strategic investment in the same manner they would the purchase of a new MRI.

Visit The Patron Saint of Architecture to read the full article. Thank you, Angela, for a great conversation and post!

 

Gimme Shelter! Shade in the healing garden

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011
Ulfelder rooftop garden, Massachusetts General Hospital. Photo by Naomi Sachs

Ulfelder rooftop garden, Massachusetts General Hospital. Photo by Naomi Sachs

I’ve been meaning to write this post all summer, and of course now it’s fall and here in the northeast, shade doesn’t seem as important anymore. But plenty of the country is still baking (if not on fire), and half of the world is just now headed into summer. I asked the TLN Facebook group to rate the importance of shade, on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the most important). Two people responded “11,” and one member, from TX, responded with 15. So here we go:

The importance of shade in the healing garden

I’m so tired of seeing “healing gardens” with no shade, or too little shade. I’ve seen many designs that are successful except for this one crucial element. I don’t know about you, but on a hot, bright day in August, the last place I want to be is outside in the sun, sweating and squinting. It’s gotten to the point where lack of shade doesn’t just make me sad, it makes me angry. Because while it’s a nice amenity in any public space, in the healthcare setting, shade truly is a matter of health.

Why provide shade?

1.  Sun protection, from UV exposure and glare
For burn patients; the elderly; people with cancer; AIDS; traumatic brain injuries (TBI); psychiatric illnesses which require medications that increase photosensitivity (sensitivity to the sun); and other conditions where direct sun (UV) exposure is hazardous, shade is paramount. In addition, colored concrete is often recommended for outdoor healthcare environments because it reduces glare. This is one of the reasons why we have embraced Scofield as a Wonderful Sponsor.

Photo by Naomi Sachs

2.  Heat mitigation
Shade provides a cooling effect, thus facilitating use of outdoor space for as much of the year as possible. This is particularly important in regions where high temperatures discourage people from venturing outdoors.

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