My Stand-In Cheerleader: why I don’t pay motivational speakers

In the marketing department of our Central Illinois office, between the buckets of LEGOs and the cabinet of Post-Its, there lies a cardboard stand-in, left over from a trade show long since passed. It’s a silhouette of someone jumping, arms raised and knees bent. I’ll be honest, if you gave this thing some pompoms and school…

The Evolution of Fitness Centers

I recently had the opportunity to present to a community group on behalf of the City of Bloomington, IL, Parks and Recreation Department.  While public speaking isn’t one of my favorite things to do, it’s a whole lot easier when it’s something I am truly passionate about…fitness and the facilities where fitness occurs. While fitness…

How LEAN Design Impacted the new Genesis Davenport Healthplex

When the Genesis Health System (GHS) embarked on the journey to build a new medical facility from the ground up, they had the chance to dramatically reimagine their workplace and provide an even more enhanced and supportive environment for patients and their families. With a focus on minimizing waste and any non-value added steps, the…

The future of the architecture firm: a mix of human and high tech

How can creative, professional service firms set up a work environment that’s not just a place to shelter employees, but one that’s a strategic tool for productivity, collaboration, and growth? BLDD Architects is answering this question by reimagining where and how they do their best work.  According to President Steve Oliver, both team collaboration and…

Associated Colleges of Illinois – 65th Anniversary Benefit Reception

My wife and I had the honor of attending this event on a lovely evening in downtown Chicago at the historic University Club on Michigan Avenue.  There are certainly worse ways to spend a Friday!  While an evening in the city and the opportunity to catch some blues music afterward is something we love to do,…

Transgender Toilet Rooms – The Scoop

The issue of transgender toilet rooms has been a hot topic in the news a LOT recently!  And, I bet, as a building owner, you’ve been asked how you will accommodate this segment of the population.  So, the first thing you did is call a trusted Architect or Engineer to ask this specific question…and the…

Should you build new or renovate?

This is a fairly typical question that plagues building owners.  It is not unusual for clients to assume that, to get what they want, they have to build new…and ‘we’ certainly can’t afford that! Owners will often overlook the tremendous value in their existing facilities.  This is understandable if you were looking at the (typically)…

‘Making a difference’ gets personal

Last week, we posted about the many talented people of BLDD who created artwork to make a difference in the fight against Alzheimer’s. This week, I wanted to share a personal story behind the artwork that I contributed to the effort, in honor of two very special people…. my maternal grandfather and paternal grandmother. Alzheimer’s…

New Trends in Clinic Design

It’s no secret that healthcare organizations across the country are shifting more and more services to outpatient settings. The move makes sense for a number of reasons:  1) the ability to reduce costs, 2) improved outcomes, 3) increased access, and 4) increased market share.   The development of clinics is further inspired by healthcare reform pressing…

Making a Difference

Alzheimer’s affects both its victims and those who love them. This disease hit close to home at BLDD when one of our own, Mike Cardinal, was diagnosed with early onset dementia at the young age of 56.  Mike was a principal in our firm, but so much more than that.  He was one of the…

Because Life Deserves Design

Jessica Whitlock, Director of Marketing In the Mohegan tribe in upper Connecticut, children receive descriptive names when they’re young. As they grow into adolescence, they receive a new name that reflects their experiences. Names may even change several times over a lifetime. “Because Life Deserves Design” is far more than an acronym for our name…

Holding On To Memories

Alzheimer’s has plagued my family for years. Growing up I always heard stories of my grandfather’s sisters who grew silent, didn’t recognize their own children, couldn’t eat, and on and on. While I was aware of the disease I had never actually experienced it first-hand. That all changed in March of 1998 when I took […]…

Virtual Reality in the Architectural Field

Virtual Reality (VR) has a growing presence in the architectural field.  While VR is by no means a new idea, it has become more affordable in the last few years, allowing it to be adopted by our field.  And it is impressive;  I know when I first started studying architecture in college, I did not…

3D Printing: The Future of Building?

Whether we have tried our own hand at 3D printing or not, we’ve all been exposed to it –  mostly through architectural models. However, I would like to ask if this technology could help us more than just represent a building, but actually be a part of the building? In what way could this be…

Greasy Drafting Fingers

A long time ago in a country far, far away (across the Atlantic), the poor of a small village along Belgium’s River Meuse mainly ate small fish from the river, fried in oil. During winter the river would freeze, but the villagers still enjoyed their usual fried feast —just substitute fish with potatoes. Years later…

Design Considerations for Behavioral Health

One of the greatest challenges currently facing designers of behavioral health units is in balancing patient safety without negatively impacting the creation of a therapeutic environment that is conducive to patient healing and recovery.  The safety of patients, staff, and visitors is very important, but so is the therapeutic nature of the environment.  Patients must…