2022 HCD Student Design Charrette






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Designer by day, professor by night, RLF’s Eugene Damaso led a group of students from the University of Florida CityLab-Orlando Graduate School of Architecture in the recent HCD Healthcare Design Expo & Conference Student Design Charrette. Student teams from Clemson University, the University of Kansas and the University of Utah also participated in the charrette that challenges students to develop a design in only 48 hours.

San Antonio-based firm sponsor Overland Partners and the AIA Academy of Architecture for Health (AAH) collaborated with client ChildSafe to develop a program for a future facility on its campus. The new facility would house a variety of health and well-being programs and spaces to support abused children and their families.

Directed to seek inspiration within art, the UF CityLab-Orlando team correlated the journey of the children and their families toward healing with kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with golden-colored lacquer that transforms the broken vessel into a new form of beauty. The students’ resulting design, titled "The Metamorphosis," focused on providing spaces that would facilitate healing the lives broken by abuse and neglect by helping put the pieces back together in a new, resilient form. These spaces include nutritional gardens to provide a physical manifestation of the process of transformation that offers opportunities for bonding and learning as well as nourishment and enrichment.

These types of exercises provide valuable experience for architecture students, developing their talents and generating fresh enthusiasm for their upcoming careers as they gain practical experience in creating and refining concepts for next-generation designs.