Architects for Health Design Charette

I’ve recently applied to participate in the Architects for Health Student Awards Design Charette. I was encouraged by my director to take it on as a representative of the practice, and I’m up for the challenge. Here’s my cover letter for the record.

To Architects for Health,

I’m applying to participate in your upcoming design charette so that I might learn more about the healthcare sector, and to develop novel concepts that may germinate into fresh and exciting proposals in the future.

I’m interested in learning more about designing for healthcare as it is a subject that is in a state of morphosis, pressurised by both an aging and exponentially increasing population, and the radical advance of the medical sciences. The role of the city hospital must evolve and grow in the face of these shifting needs and this necessity poses interesting design challenges.

I’m interested also in the idea of urban healthcare; the term is initially ambiguous and could mean both the care of the population or the tenure of the city itself, or perhaps both.

At first the phrase ‘theraputic urban environment’ seems to be an oxymoron. The notion of the city seems interwoven with visions of streaking traffic, pollution and rush. This is in fact a paradox I am intrigued at the idea of unwrapping. While the notion of the therapeutic garden environment is established it is by no means the sole method of harnessing the environment for soothing effect; in fact by necessity the modern, urban society requires a new refuge archetype better suited to the dense metropolitan condition most of us now occupy.

A main draw for me is the freedom to explore the theoretical limits of the brief as I believe allowing oneself temporary departure from the mundaneness of the building regulations can spark creative innovation, and it is this fluid creativity that can lead to real-world progress.

I’ve used physical models consistently to embody my design ideas throughout my career in education as I feel the action of making has a catalyctic effect on design ideas. It is a bonus then that your charette brief encourages the use of models and it is an element of the charette I really look forward to.

In the past I’ve enjoyed exploring the behaviour of architecture and design over extended time periods and I believe it is a seam rich with architectural potential. The idea of journey and temporality is a very human one, very much appropriate to a hospital and doubly so to a children’s unit.

I hope that you can afford me the opportunity to contribute to your Architects for Health Student Award Charette, and look forward to the challenge.

Faithfully,

 

Karl Diskin

B/Arch, Dip/Arch

Architectural Assistant Part II, Paul Murphy Architects

Here’s the  Flyer and the Outline Brief, further information on the Charette can be found here.

K

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