College of Architecture + The Arts

Florida International University
College of Architecture + The Arts

Modesto A. Maidique Campus
Paul L. Cejas School of Architecture Building
11200 SW 8th Street Miami, Florida 33199

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Graduate Design 5, Healthcare Studio Students Partner with VITAS Innovative Hospice Care

At FIU Interior Architecture, we are critically oriented toward the interior designer’s role in society and believe that significant societal contributions at local, academic, professional, and global levels can be achieved by people who approach design with a professional manner and a sense of accountability. A prime example of this emphasis is the community outreach of our Interior Architecture Graduate 5 studio.
FIU Interior Architecture and VITAS Innovative Hospice Care have partnered to advance the standard for healthcare design. The partnership between our Graduate Design 5 studio students – taught by Sarah Boehm, Assistant Professor – and VITAS was established with research-informed healthcare design at its core. For this healthcare studio, students are engaging in a collaborative design process involving client/user groups input and feedback throughout the project. The emphasis in the studio is on designing with empathy within the framework of the complex demands found in the practice of healthcare design.
The graduate students recently conducted observations, focus groups, and interviews with staff and family members at several of VITAS’s South Florida locations. Through enacting these research methods, students gained knowledge and understanding of the hospice environment and user-centered design needs. FIU Interior Architecture would like to thank the VITAS team working with our students, which consists of nurses, physicians, social workers, team managers, chaplains, secretaries and family members of patients in hospice.
This article was written with the help of Sarah Boehm, Assistant Professor.

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