KU Department of Architecture Health and Wellness: Joint Design Studio Project

LAWRENCE — During the spring semester of 2015, Assistant Professor of Architecture Hui Cai of the Department of Architecture’s Health and Wellness program organized a joint design studio with the School of Architecture at Nanjing Tech, China. That led to an agreement that paves the way for future collaboration.

The success of the class, which brought KU and NJ Tech students together to design an intergenerational community, led to the signing of a Technical, Cultural, Educational and Scientific Cooperation Memorandum of Understanding between the two schools. Under it they agree to continue to collaborate on joint research, study and educational activities, and to exchange scholars, faculty and students.

“The signing of this memorandum is one of the many ways our school is fulfilling our vision, to be a force for regional and global urbanism through design,” said Dean Mahesh Daas.

“The joint studio has established the foundation for a series of international collaborations between KU and Chinese universities,” Cai said. “And because of it, our students are more prepared for the opportunities that are present for health care designers in the global market.”

The first activity under the new memorandum is another joint studio on rural health care design that is taking place on campus through May 4.

Last year’s studio was led by Cai, Professor of Architecture Kent Spreckelmeyer and Associate Professors Zhichang Cai and Yao Fang from Nanjing Tech. Associate Professor Emeritus Dennis Domer and Dennis Cope, co-chair of the American Institute of Architects Design for Aging Knowledge Community, served as their external advisers.

It was recently announced that two of projects produced by the students during this initial studio won a third place and an honorable mention in the 2016 Chinese National Competition on International Joint Studio Design Projects. The project was the master planning of an intergenerational community near Rock Chalk Park and the result of collaboration with architecture students Ryan Falk, Holton; Justin Gomez, St. Peters, Missouri, and James McLarty, Eureka, Missouri.

“These design awards are evidence of our schools’ success in promoting design excellence through cross-cultural knowledge exchange and communication,” Cai said.

“Stacked Garden Intergenerational Community for Senior Living, Health and Wellness, Rehab,” designed by Xiaohan Chen, won third place in 2016 Chinese National Competition on International Joint Studio Design Projects out of 250 entries.

Mo Liang and Xing Ji’s “Rooftop Hiking: Intergenerational Community for Senior Living, Health and Wellness, Rehab” won an honorable mention in the same competition.

To see the projects visit https://kudesignhealthwellness.wordpress.com

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