…will slowly filter into the HealthCare Studio and diffuse into the rest of the office.

Between Nov. 13-16 (yes writing this blog post took a while) Jamie and I attended the Health Care Design 2010 Conference in Las Vegas.  For those who have never heard of the Health Care Design Conference it is an annual conference of Health Care Designers, Facility Managers, and Health Care Providers that focus on the research and progress of design in the health care environment, particularly evidence based design. 

The 4 day event gave us the opportunity to be part of unique discussions on topics ranging from “Codes and Standards: How they Affect the Design of Patient Rooms” to the “Light Health and Energy Efficiency”.  In general the presentation focused on presenting research finding and lessons learned from around the world. Many of the topics I was involved in focused on Energy Efficiency in the Health Care environment and the design and theory of design of psychiatric facilities. In terms of the design of psychiatric facilities some of the most interesting discussion occurred around the difference in how risk management affect design in the US vs facilities abroad. US facilities tend to be designed in a very risk averse manner where the concern is placed on preventing every possible method of damage to both the facility and patient where as many of the facilities shown outside of the US exhibit less emphasis on preventing incidents and more focused on the design providing a healing environment.  To paraphrase on of the presenter (Stefan Lundin of White Arkiteker AB)  ‘we should design for the 95% percent of the time good things happen not the 5% of the time bad things happen. Because it is that 95% of the time that good design can help patients in these facilities.’  As side note another great psychiatric project to look at by BIG + JD is the Helsingor Psychiatric Facility. 

If anyone is interested in learning more about the lectures and discussions that were attended please let me know, in many cases we have digital versions of the presentations.

Additionally Jaime and I were also able to tour two different healthcare facilities in Las Vegas, the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health (by Gehry) and the Department of Veteran Affairs Las Vegas Medical Center.  Images of both of these facilities as well as images of Las Vegas will be available on the TLCD flickr account soon.  Although if you itching to see images of the Lou Ruvo Center along with a scattering of other images from Vegas you can see them now here.

On a Vegas note I was struck by Daniel Libeskind’s  new building ‘Crystals’ in City Center.  Of all the buildings on the Vegas Strip this one was probably the most well executed and cleanly detailed. The interesting part was that even given the angularity and organized chaos in the space it was one of the most calming spaces in Vegas to be in.  There are some additional photographs of the space I took in the same set of images linked to earlier (towards the bottom).