AAHSA’s Last Designer Standing

So maybe I wandered away from the Idea House just long enough to see what the students at Harrington College of Design were doing in the back corner of the expo hall…as a student of the school myself, how could I resist?

Students were challenged to transform a skilled nursing room into a special home for an AAHSA member resident on a limited budget.  14 students from one of the graduate studio classes at Harrington were chosen to participate and compete against each other in groups of two.  Initial concepts were created and presented to a team of judges consisting of Joseph Hassel, Jennifer McDermott and Carlo Salvador from Perkins Eastman, Julie Moller from Freeman White and John-Martin Rutherford and Crandon Gustafson from Harrington College of Design.  I actually met Mr. Hassel today and he described the entire process and competition to me. 

From there, two of the schemes were chosen.  The students were re-organized in 2 groups, an orange team and a green team and they have 48 to complete their designs.  Guests of the expo can vote for their favorite one and the winner will receive $1000.00

The picture above were the original submissions and below I have the concepts and the teams in action. 

Hopefully I can get pictures of the finished rooms to publish. 

Touring the AAHSA Idea House

This morning I had the opportunity to venture over to the McCormick Place and tour the Idea House that was built right inside for the AASHA Annual Meeting.

When I initially arrived, the media was touring the home and I got to stand back and take a look and really appreciate how many people could comfortably stand inside the home and socialize.  And socialize they did, as there were many vendors demonstrating some of the latest and greatest technology available to us today to help us age in place. 

I walked into the open courtyard area and tried to decide which section of the home to explore first.  A few hours later I have to say I was almost on information overload.  Some of the built-ins and products were to be expected, and some were hard to even imagine existing.  Over the course of my next few posts, I am going to talk about some of the things I learned and some of the products I learned about.  I even had the opportunity to interview Majd Alwan, the Director of CAST and Eric Krull, the AAHSA Idea House Designer.  It was hard not to see the excitement in their eyes as they talked about the project and the possibilities to come.

It was inspiring to see how architects, designers, aging services providers, and technology can all come together and create safe, beautiful functional spaces for the rest of us.  Stay tuned, more to come..