This guest post is by Melissa Piatkowski, EDAC, Green Belt Lean Certified for Facilities Design, Senior Design Researcher at Davis Partnership Architects.
If you find yourself anywhere in the vicinity of healthcare design in recent years, you have no doubt heard the praises of Evidence-based Design. Like evidence-based medicine, which results in better health outcomes, Evidence-based Design improves the probability of a better building. And while the brick and mortar sometimes feels like the end-goal, ultimately, a better design will improve the experience and health of the staff and the patients within the walls of these buildings.
Davis Partnership Architects, one of 43 EDAC Advocate Firms in the world, is committed to understanding credible design research, applying it to practice, and conducting new research to add to our body of knowledge. We have found that access to design research (through journal publications, conferences, research experts, etc.) is key to successful design. However, these resources can be expensive, and at times the research papers and presentations are a little too… “researchy.” Does an architect have to go back for their PhD in order to read these articles?!
Thankfully, no one on our design team was harmed in the making of this Evidence-based Design process. Through the ICONS and Innovators webinar series, The Center for Health Design has helped to bridge the gap between designers and the resources they are after. These webinars are inexpensive and the material presented is topical and approachable for a variety of audiences. We often joke that anytime there is buzz around the office on the most recent trend in healthcare design, without fail, that very topic shows up in our inboxes for an upcoming webinar from The Center for Health Design. And when we can’t catch the live broadcast, the webinar recordings are available On Demand for convenient access to CEU credits and topics of particular interest.
As a Design Researcher, I have found these webinars to be a great resource for feasible yet rigorous research methods that fit into the scope of real-world design schedules. I walk away from the webinars with pages of notes and ideas to use in our Pre- and Post-Occupancy Evaluation studies at Davis Partnership.
After viewing each webinar, our team shares “ah-ha” moments with each other. Robyn Linstrom, Associate, AIA, EDAC, LEED® AP, said:
Webinars provide a unique opportunity to not only see what other facilities and design professionals are exploring related to healthcare, but to engage in dialogue afterward through question and answers that enhance the discussion further. These webinars often spark further conversation within our own organization that push us as designers to continually explore innovative design approaches.
The knowledge we’ve gained through these webinars has been invaluable in conversations with our clients and potential clients. Saying that “we are an EDAC firm” is meaningful to a certain extent, but it is so much more compelling when we can share concrete examples of the social, economic, and environmental outcomes achieved through Evidence-based Design.
We highly recommend the series to others in the industry looking to take part in this wave of change in healthcare design. Said Ann H. Adams, Associate Principal, AIA, ACHA, EDAC:
Davis Partnership Architects continues to enjoy the webinars that The Center for Health Design provides to their partners. The webinars continue to exceed our expectations in bringing new ideas, thoughts and experiences to all of us and often help create the inspiration for our projects.