This year's AIA National Convention in sweltering Miami marks my first attendance at the show. While our focus atHEALTHCARE DESIGN is obviously healthcare, shows like AIA help provide a broad picture of the state of architecture, and healthcare's place in it. This has provided some interesting perspectives for me, and has shown me (as if I ever forgot) yet again what a special and specialized field healthcare architecture indeed is. There were several heatlhcare-specific sessions here at the conference (some of which I'll address specifically later), but I gleaned some intriguing information from a non-healthcare session called
Design Informed: Transforming Evidence Into Practice, wherein Gordon H. Chong, FAIA, FACHA, NCARB; Bob Brandt, AIA, IFMA, LEED AP; and W. Mike Martin, FAIA, examined the concept of evidence-based design. While readers of
HEALTHCARE DESIGN are no doubt well versed in this concept as it relates to healthcare, Chong and Co. were really introducing the concept as a general tool, one that they felt could transform the design process. Most interesting, perhaps, was the idea that this is all a fairly long time away from actually happening. The audience, featuring only a handful of healthcare architects, seemed receptive and interested, but coming from our little corner of the industry, where EBD is not only known but is widely integrated already, was eye-opening to say the least. Contrast this with a session later in the day,
An Understanding of Healthcare Planning Process for the Next Decade: How Demographics Will Shape How We Deliver Healthcare, by Steven I. Steinberg, AIA, and Terrie Kurrasch, Assoc. AIA, of Ratcliff. Lots of information was presented, almost a crash-course in the state of healthcare design, meant to be delivered to the generalist architect. The problem: most of the audience were in fact healthcare architects. Still, there were some very interesting kernels of thought peppered in with the general info, some of which I hope to pursue in print in the coming months.