Case study I:

You’re a patient. You just had a full hip replacement and you are in a hospital room large enough for one patient but it is a double room. There is no window, a door for the bathroom, a door for the closet and limited wall space to hang the get well cards you have received from loved ones. The lighting is terrible.

Question: As a designer, who would you speak to about improving the health environment of this room? Limited funds prohibit a full makeover. How could you make a difference with this environment?

Do you think positioning for success is the responsibility of the designer who is designing the space or the person who is living in the space? Designers are challenged daily with these questions. What is your personal opinion and what have you done to create a healthy workspace—are you positioned for success?

Case study II:

You’re a designer. You enter a busy, successful office with an open plan layout. There is one area of the plan where you see a desk facing the wall. However you slice it, the person sitting at that desk has his back facing coworkers, the door, and his work environment. Although it is an open plan, the environment still remains closed for the individual.

Question: As a designer, what would you do to improve the environment for this person? Is this person energetically positioned for success? Are they facing their opportunities or are their opportunities passing them by? Are they open for discussions or are their backs turned to implying they are not available?

Do you have someone in your office with their back turned to you? What does it feel like when you need to approach them?

Case study III:

You’re a five year old in Kindergarten. The teacher calls the class to join open circle. The group comes together but the teacher realizes that the only way one of the children can fit into the space is by having one child sit with his back to the group.

Question: As a designer, how would you help this teacher bring the group together? Is the child whose back is to the group fully expressed and ready to receive communication or is the child closed to the group and expressing his unavailability?

Have a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year! I look forward to hearing your design resolutions.