Architects For Health Student Health Design Awards

As an Executive Board Member of AfH, Jaime Bishop conceived and instigated the Student Awards in 2007 with the goal of bridging a perceived schism between the practicing architectural design community and the academic arena. From both perspectives, the other is often viewed as not aligning with their respective goals, be it preparing students for the challenging array of potential briefs in the Healthcare gamut or demonstrating that these vital pieces of community infrastructure can be delightful works of architecture in support of and even drawn from pragmatic functional goals.

In order to achieve the initial goals, the judging criteria were developed to partially suppress the demands of practical healthcare design and equally enable the less pragmatic and more poetic experiments of contemporary modern day architecture students. However, it would also be counter-productive to ignore all purely pragmatic, specifically health-related design issues in favour of the esoteric ponderings of students, and vice versa. Therefore, neither approach would excluded a project from winning.

AfH are particularly keen to celebrate when a proposal has engaged with the experience of staff and building users, asking: what it will be like to be inside this building? And how will that effect healing on a one to one scale? The criteria specifically stated that a ‘crudely elevated massing model’ would not fulfil the criteria.

As the event organiser I hope that we will increase our direct engagement with students next year. Our goal ultimately is to invite design based research into the healthcare arena, and to prepare students to be more predisposed to work as architects and designers in the Healthcare sector to the benefit of employers and the future of our built healthcare environment. As Panellist Patrick Hutt noted: ‘I hope that this competition will encourage more people to pursue careers in health related architecture. It is a discipline worthy of attention.’

AfH Student Awards Website
Architects for Health Website
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