The recent Healthcare Design conference began on November 13, 2010, at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, with much anticipation from the nine intern architects sponsored by Herman Miller. The scholars attended a variety of educational sessions and toured the large exhibit hall. So I decided to ask them what they remembered most.
Here’s what they had to say about it:
Stevens & Wilkinson, Columbia, SC
One thing that I took away from the conference was the incredible anti-microbial properties of copper. Most anti-microbial products simply don’t allow bacteria to multiply on them, but copper actively kills bacteria.
Miles Associates, Oklahoma City, OK
Prior to the conference, I was aware of how important evidence-based design is to healthcare projects. What I learned at the conference, though, is that design implementations that do not produce assumed outcomes are just as important to discuss and share as those findings that do produce implicit results. I really appreciated the presenters who had the courage to share studies of multi-million dollar projects whose designs were assumed to be better for patients and staff but whose studies proved otherwise. These findings still help everyone in the design industry understand something new and should be shared.
Visions in Architecture, Lincoln, NE
The one thing that stood out above all the sessions, demonstrations, and exhibits were the people. I cannot remember a conference of that size that I’ve been to where the people were as helpful, knowledgeable, and respectful as they were at HCD2010.
Liollio Architecture, Charleston, SC
The most important thing that I learned was healthcare sustainability is 20 times more demanding in consumption and waste than what the earth can handle. But several projects explored some great ideas that created incredible spaces, while giving back to the environment. Ideas like green public spaces in hospitals, operable windows for patients and power failure, and casework that can be easily switched as functions change are great examples that can revolutionize how we improve healthcare and the world.
H+L Architecture, Denver, CO
One thing that I took away from this conference is just how important it is for architects and medical planners to collaborate with healthcare providers. After listening to sessions presented by medical professionals I learned that it is critical to have a medical staff member involved from day one to ensure that a well-functioning, highly technical and atheistically pleasing building is built. I believe that it the relationship should go further from just being an architect/client relationship to being a partnership between designers and healthcare professionals. I look forward to taking this insight and applying it to my career in healthcare design.
HOK, Chicago, IL
The conference was great! I attended many lectures focused on master planning, emergency department, and international psychiatry design, which are my areas of interest right now, and was able to see many of the products we specify in our projects within the exhibit hall.
MEDNATIONAL, LLC, Fargo, ND
The most memorable thing that I learned from the conference is that it reinforced the path that I am on to be involved in healthcare architecture. The speakers at the sessions were so passionate about their research and concerned to find solutions to help patients, families, and staff. To be at the ACHA and AIA AAH meetings to see what true leaders in our industry are doing to improve the profession, be innovative, and create opportunities for others was inspiring to me and reinforced that this is what I want to be a part of.
Anshen+Allen, part of Stantec Architecture, San Francisco, CA
As architects, interior designers and planners, what comes naturally to us is the ability to innovate, but the ability to innovate with the notion of empathy is what differentiates us from others and that’s what I am striving to achieve. The most valuable lesson I learned at the conference that I hope to adopt at every stage of my practice is to step outside myself and see the world from another person’s perspective. If we invent hospitals, we can bring the right change in them at any time!
Arkitex Studio, Inc. , Bryan, TX
The most memorable learning moment of the conference for me resides in a statement from an educational session on cancer facilities. The lecture began with the architect describing all of the wonderful design elements that the facility boasted. Then the facility representative follows by saying “What do you do with a skylight if there is a Melanoma patient sitting under it?” That statement really shocked me with the fact that a healthcare design is only as good as the support it lends the patient who is using it. I want to always remember that as I design in the future.
On a much more fun note, big feathers, sequins, some Elvis, and a little Frank Sinatra are quite memorable as well. So what happened in Vegas, will actually stay with me for quite sometime and add to my thoughts of better design for the future.
Congratulations to this year’s scholarship recipients and many thanks for sharing your experience with Discover!