Interior Design Students Attend Behavioral Health Design Workshop

In September 2018, three interior design students and two faculty traveled to Baltimore for a behavioral health design workshop sponsored by The Center For Health Design. BID candidates Brianna Beall, Olivia Barron, Kourtney Russo attended, with interior design faculty members Julie Elliott (CHID, LEED GA, EDAC, IIDA) and Andrew Baque.

The workshop “Behavioral Health – Strategic Design Innovations that Improve Treatment Outcomes, Safety and the Bottom Line” addressed “challenges created by today’s growing mental health and substance abuse crises reach far beyond the behavioral health unit into emergency departments, outpatient clinics and throughout acute care settings,” according to the Center for Health Design.

To support improved care and enhance staff safety, today’s design, facility and care professionals have to advance their understanding of design’s impact on behavioral health care and learn how to incorporate the best and latest design solutions throughout the healthcare setting.

The workshop was an informative experience, the students agreed. “I am so grateful for my experience at the behavioral health conference!” BID candidate Kourtney Russo said. “Between engaging with passionate professionals in the field, and learning about new and innovative products, I feel more eager than ever to explore healthcare design.”

“This is part of an ongoing initiative to introduce healthcare design in the School and pave the way for a minor and graduate degree program in health and wellness in the future,” School of Interior Design director Marsha Cuddeback said.

Attending the workshop “was an eye-opening experience,” BID candidate Brianna Beall said. “The best part was seeing how much the professional community wanted to interact with us students and teach us about health care. There was an overwhelming number of professionals that offered to give us tours of their firms, to send us additional information, and answer all of our design questions.”

Barbara Harriman (BID 1982), IIDA, EDAC, President and Creative Director of Distinctive Art Source, helped support the students by funding workshop registration fees. (Distinctive Art Source uses evidence based design and patient based art to create art appropriate for healthcare settings.)

The workshop ties in with concepts they are working on this semester, the students said. Baque’s senior design studio is currently working on a project at Northlake Behavioral Health: they are designing for an acute care behavioral health unit. Learn more.

The Center for Health Design is the organization that facilitated an Evidence-Based Design Workshop for LSU faculty members in February 2018.