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

search haiti_utk
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 Mobile Medical Unit (7)


ROH medical clinic

ROH in compact form

Designed as an emergency medical response unit, ROH, Rolling on Haiti, is a compact, mobile unit intended for delivery to a location in need. The compact unit encases two sets of fully stocked shelves, four water bladders, collapsible aluminum poles, and Tyvek canvas, all encased with square rubber floor tiles. The steps for set-up are feasible with three to five persons, beginning with the placement of the flooring and followed by the placement and opening of the hinged shelves. Creating a U-shape, the shelving units define two exam rooms with the Tyvek canvas enclosing the entire unit. Planning for numerous patients and intense outdoor temperatures, ROH includes four benches within the shelves, requiring simple set-up and offering convenient placement for patients being seen and those still waiting. With the completion of the stored medical supplies, it is hoped that a Haitian family will take ownership of the former medical shelter, reusing the elements in a domestic manner.

Relationship of floor tiles to compact unit

With the review of fellow nurses and doctors, minor changes are needed for greater efficiency and success as a mobile medical unit. Programmatically, the pharmacy requires independence from the exam rooms. The modularity of ROH provides great potential for spatial planning, however security finds great prevalence in the modules, needing sufficient space and enclosure. In addition, the Haitian heat and humidity, particularly in the peak of summer, creates slightly unbearable situations. Thus, ventilation design, such as windows with mosquito netting, needs implementation to maintain the miniscule breeze flow; sanitation also requires continuous airflow with the presence of TB patients.

ROH medical clinic in full use

Looking to future design improvements, greater attention is specifically needed in the spatial planning. Focusing on a compact scale, the limitations of materials and storage provide significant design challenges for ROH, however it is possible to reconfigure the exam rooms and the placement of the pharmacy to maximize the use by medical persons. Detailing of the compact unit, such as the size and weight of medical supplies, requires further attention as well, helping to clarify the mobility of the unit.


Kabwet Clinic - Reflections

Project Presentation PDF

This project, the Kabwet Clinic, is the design of a mobile medical unit meant to be used in rural locations by Haitians for Haitians. The unit would be stored in the city hospitals and deployed to remote locations on a systematic, daily basis in order to help release the existing pressure of overwhelming medical need in those areas. The design for the Kabwet Clinic is easily sustainable in such an area due to its ability to travel through diverse terrains by a variety of vehicles, and existing of components that can be replaced by local materials. Its design maximizes its lifespan and functionality. The key to the success of the Kabwet Clinic is its implementation into the Hatian culture and continued use by its population.

Ultimately, I feel as though this project is a success to its purpose. I would have liked to have more time to show in more detail the overall lifecycle of the cart specifically since we designed it so that it could be used for purposes other than the clinic. We did this for every aspect of the project but it was not shown as strongly as I would have liked in the presentation.  I am very proud of the illustration that we did use, however. I believe they communicate what we meant the to communicate.

The cart was probably what changed the most throughout the process. Our first iteration of its design was much more complicated,  specifying an extra set of wheels, a hand crank and a far-too-unrealistic hinge system. That we were able to siplify the transformation to a single hinging panel is a testament to the power of collaboration.  One of the things that most affected the design process was the change in type of medical treatment it was to provide. Much of the equipment we thought would be necessary in our early iteration was dropped in favor of carrying more of the basic care essentials - a decision that proved to be most advantageous as it lead to the possibility of a modular, multipurpose storage system.


 If we had more time to work on this design I would hope to rework the modular system to consist, instead of snap-seal plastic water-tight containers, of hefty wove baskets with a ridged lid and frame so that they could still be used as seats and work surfaces but could be manufactured locally. In order to make them water-tight I could specify an inner plastic layer that would serve as a sort of water skin and surround the contents of the boxes.


Page 1 2