2011 haiti_utk publication

One to Another

A Downloadable Publication from the 2011 Haiti UTK Studio


WBIR Report of the Haiti Studio

Introduction haiti_utk

Welcome to the Haiti UTK site! The work on these pages reflects student engagement in design for both a school and housing for the community of Fonds des Bloncs, Haiti in collaboration with the Haiti Christian Development Fund. The project was initiated in the early fall of 2010 and subsequently a class of 19 students, in the spring of 2011, was given the responsibility of deisgning a secondary school. The school is under constuction. A new group of students is now hard at work developing new housing in Fonds des Blancs. The work of these students can be seen in the pages of this blog. Students of the class will be traveling to Haiti Februay 2-6 to collect addiional data. It is anticipated that this second phase of the project will be completed in late April with construction starting summer 2012. The work of the students is being guided by three primary faculty, John McRae, David Matthews, and Chris King, a local practictioner. The students during their exploration will engage a wide range of issues including context, culture, resources, climate and other outside factors not common to their expereince. 

Students: Cassidy Barnett, Aaron Brown, Sarah Heimermann, Mitzi Coker, Emily Corgan, Ben Cross, Peter Duke, Emily Fike, Sam Funari, Lauren Heile, Kendra McHaney, Lauren Metts, Morgan Oiler, Bernice Paez, Forrest Reynolds, Emily Ryan, James Sawyer, Zachary Smith, Robert Thew, Cory Wikerson Faculty: John McRae, Chris King, David Matthews

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Special Thanks!

The Haiti Studio for spring 2012 is being supported by HaitiServe foundation based in Knoxville Tennessee, that is focused on outreach and engagement in improving conditions in Haiti. 

Entries in All-Terrain (2)


Tree Clinic Medicine Mobile Unit

Poverty and the lack of basic life skills rather than microbes and parasites are the primary catalysts for the spread of infection and disease.  Cuts, sores, and open wounds are left untreated and exposed to filth and flies.  Among the Haitian people, inadequate sanitation, clean water, good hygiene, and basic first aid knowledge contributes to their suffering and death.

Tree Clinic Medicine is addressing these inequities.  The key component to Tree Clinic Medicine's realization is the medical packs.  Light-weight, durable, and compact in size, the medical packs permit medical volunteers access to remote villages in Haiti with essential medical supplies; and basic first aid and nutritional education.

Donkeys with medical packs on the move.

Volunteer medical teams hike to remote village with donkeys to carry their medical supplies.  Upon arrival the team tethers a rope between trees, remove the medical packs from their water proof sacks, and hang the packs from the tethered rope.  The trees also provide shade for the staff and patients.  In case of rain, a tap can be hung across the tethered rope and tied off at the corners.

Demonstration of set up

The manufacture of the packs could be an added source of income in Haiti. Donations could cover materials, labor, and eliminate the expense of shipping. On the back of each pack, local visual art would depict proper wound care and hygiene, facilitating volunteers with the language barrier and illiteracy. Donkeys and their owners (handlers) could be hired to transport supplies and teams, while helping provide a much needed service to their people.

Perspective of Tree Clinic Medicine

In critiquing this project, I should have used benches instead of the three legged stools.  Folding benches would have been more practical, when pulled together they could have provided a flat surface for patients to lie on for medical exams.   Folding benches could also provide additional seating for people waiting.

The area was too open.  If I had designed the medical packs to zip together, this would have enclosed the space created more privacy and providing a more secure area for the medical supplies.  I should have investigated colors more.  My medical pack colors should have been green and white; colors associated with Haitian hospitals.

I thought that having the medical supplies and medicines together would be more convenient for the medical staff but I later found out that having the supplies and medicines together would create too much congestion in one area.  They needed to be separated.




The Kabwet Clinic

The Kabwet Clinic helps to both bring medical aid to Haitians in need that may not otherwise be able to travel to or afford a visit to a hospital.  It combines modular, secure storage units with a durable, versatile cart to bring supplies and opportunities to the more remote, rural settings of Haiti.  The cart was designed to travel over most terrains, to be easily repaired with the replacement of readily available parts (i.e. used car tires, scrap wood/metal), and to transform from a vehicle to a work surface.  

Transformation of Cart into Table


















 The cart would be stocked and distributed from hospitals around the country.  They can be loaded onto a truck, towed by motor vehicle, donkey, or pushed by person.  This style of pushed cart is often used in Haiti, but with more found materials and handmade construction.  This cart could be manufactured in the US, but the use of simple construction techniques would allow for more carts to be built in Haiti with whatever material is available.  

Cart functioning as a work surface

The storage containers were designed for multi-functionality in that they are water-tight containers, can be used for seating or work surfaces, and include a detachable connection that allows for the use of other found containers with the entire unit.  A critique given about the containers was that they would initially have to be fabricated in the US, an unlikely and difficult solution to the problem at hand.  With the design of a specific connection detail, however, virtually any container could be used in this mobile clinic system.  

Connection Detail














One of the features of the Kabwet Clinic is the break-away medical kit.  In a response to an emergency, it would be used, once the cart had arrived to a village and set up camp, to venture into the more remote locations to address any problems found.  The break-away kit would also be used to travel to rural homes and help educate citizens on proper first aid.  One of the most frequent causes of serious injury or infection is the mistreatment or neglect to care for minor injuries when they first happen.  The break-away kit includes graphic directions to address the language barrier, and to help educated Haitians on proper first aid techniques.  

The Break-Away Kit