Monday, May 08, 2006

IIDA Student Sustainable Design Competition

The dialysis center I designed in my Commercial Studio class last fall means a great deal to me. The assignment was to design an out-patient healthcare facility and Professor Woolley let us decide what type. After a debate we made the decision as a class that it should be a kidney dialysis center. It was an opportunity to design a facility for people who truly need it.

In October our class visited a dialysis center at a local hospital and saw how depressing and inadequate the space was. The nurse who showed us around told us what they needed and what they wished for. Afterward a friend of my mom named Marianna agreed to speak with us. She underwent dialysis at a center in Ogden and eventually received a kidney transplant. Her experience was very emotional and she made the project real for us.

After my project was featured in a Statesman article Woolley, who is now teaching design at a school in Qatar, wrote me the following. I'm sharing it because he describes the significance of this better than I could.
If you weren't there that day - you don't understand the meaning of this project. If you don't know someone personally who is undergoing dialysis treatment - you won't understand this project. But I was there in class and heard what she said. I saw the pain and appreciate the work the class did because it changed them as designers. Design took on meaning, and that is rare in the educational realm.
The research behind my design also became a year long Honors project exploring sustainability and metaphors for spiritual healing. With Woolley's encouragement I entered the project into the International Interior Design Association's (IIDA) Student Sustainable Design Competition. I wasn't expecting much but he thought I had a good chance.

The judging is now complete and I found out late last week that I received the competition's honorable mention. I am excited and I am grateful. Grateful for the opportunities this award will bring me and the ways it will help me to accomplish my goals. Grateful for everything I learned this year, and grateful for the chance to find a mentor who helped me exceed my own expectations.


Loralee Choate said...

I still think that is one of the most beautiful designs I've seen. My jaw dropped when you told me what it was, but I thought it even the more gorgeous after finding out...

Holly said...

Thank you. I need to show you the whole project. The rendering is just the beginning.