Metropolis went deep highlighting the discussion from our August Think Tank event which focused on how full-scale prototypes and mockups are vital and useful design tools.
As explained by Susan Blomquist, prototypes help the architects interface with clients, including the Boston-area health-care specialists Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Chelsea Soldiers’ Home, and Boston Children’s Hospital. Using full-scale prototypes, stakeholders can offer immediate, on-the-spot feedback using sticky notes, affixing them to different components of the true-to-scale modules. We then photograph each comment in place, which jump starts the redesign process.
One recent healthcare project currently under design that made use of mockups is the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home Community Living Center. We built a full-scale mockup of the resident room and installed it on-site, to solicit feedback from the core stakeholders as well as future residents and residents’ families. We asked them to evaluate everything from the mounting heights of bathroom fittings to provisions for patient privacy, accessibility and care. Through questionnaires and observation, the team synthesized the data into simple diagrams to report back findings and refine the design.
Cheryl Poppe, superintendent of the Chelsea Soldiers Home praised the “interactive” design process of “having veterans visit the mockups and give direct feed-back [asking] for example, ‘Can I easily enter a shower from this angle?’”
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