Spring is here, and with it comes the opportunity to get outside and enjoy our local parks and green spaces, many of which are being designed by this month’s featured contributors.
In her article on pg. 22, Cheri Ruane of Weston & Sampson shares how a playground in Cambridge is incorporating universal (inclusive) design to allow children with special physical, emotional, or sensory needs to “enjoy the thrill of sliding, spinning, swinging, or other activities in ways that able-bodied children do with ease.” On pg. 20, Rick Jones of Jones Architecture also talks about his firm’s mission to embrace universal design concepts on every project it undertakes. It’s good to see that inclusivity is being considered in all sorts of design, including parks and other outdoor spaces.
One of the most notable contributor articles this month is from Naomi Heller of studioMLA Architects (pg. 19). She gives a fascinating history lesson on playground design as it has evolved over the last century. The ”Handbook for Public Playground Safety” was published in 1981, resulting in an almost identical design for most playgrounds across the country. As a child of the ‘80s, I remember what they looked like: Black asphalt. Jungle gym. One slide. No sand or water or trees. These days, Heller explains, playground design utilizes natural elements, and “strives to create customizable, modular, and flexible equipment, giving children the freedom and autonomy to imagine their own play space.“
New technologies continue to elevate the capabilities of architecture, engineering and construction firms, streamlining procedures and enabling higher quality remote collaboration than ever before. Reeti Gupta of HKS Architects starts off our Technology and Innovation section on pg. 23, sharing how her firm is elevating the design process with new and existing technologies. She talks about how HKS’ Practice Technology team was established to “focus on leveraging technology to advance the firm’s design capabilities and improve delivery processes.”
I was thrilled to attend the groundbreaking ceremony for 10 World Trade in Boston in early April (pg. 13). It was one of the most memorable groundbreakings I’ve ever attended. There was even a cake in the shape of the actual building! I’m really excited about this project for a variety of reasons. It is an example of how a developer really embraces diversity and inclusion and is delivering on it. At the event, I met Gosder Cherilus of Bastion Companies. Bastion Companies is one of the MBE developers involved with the project. It was great chatting with him and getting to hear about his journey from professional football player to real estate investor, and about his passion for this unique project.
Next month’s focus is on Healthcare Facilities. HP is a media sponsor for a one day healthcare summit on June 8 entitled, “What’s Next for Healthcare Facilities in These Unsettled Times” (pg. 46). The event will be held in Boston’s Seaport District. Our June issue will have extra distribution at the summit, and yours truly will be moderating a panel on “How to Build an Agile Design & Construction Team in Volatile Times.” You can register by visiting https://crdmi.regfox.com/2022-boston-summit. I hope to see you there!
Enjoy spring, and as always, enjoy the read!