Healthcare Design Expo / by DHW Lab

The DHW Lab is keen to learn from others designing a better experience of healthcare. In November 2015 Justin Kennedy-Good, one of the co-directors of the DHW Lab, went to a conference in Washington DC to hear about developments in North America. 

With over 4000 participants including speakers, trade fair vendors and attendees that include clinicians, architects and others the conference offered over 130 different workshops and presentations.

Highlights included presentations on Lean (3P) facility design from Virginia Mason and Ohio State university development of the ‘ideal’ patient room using with a human factors perspective, listening to Peter Ulrich, the first to research the relationship between Length of Stay and views of nature.  Seeing a design charette was also inspiring and something we’d like to do at Auckland DHB. It involved four competing university teams designing a health and wellness centre for Washington DC in less than 48 hours.


Beyond physical design of healthcare settings the conference included discussion of what matters – that the experience of a service or a place is what people will tell their families and friends, this was emphasized by keynote speaker Ken Schmidt, former director of Communications Strategy for Harley-Davidson Motor Co. Topics on ‘sound scaping’, ‘scent scaping’ and the emerging role of service design in Healthcare were also covered.

We hope to add to the conversation in 2016 when the conference will be held in Texas as the DHW Lab has much to share.