Staffers in healthcare facilities are more collaborative than ever, and laptops, tablets, and other mobile devices make that process easier and more effective. For our 2012 student competition, Nurture by Steelcase, HEALTHCARE DESIGN magazine, and The Center for Health Design challenged teams of college students to respond to this trend by designing spaces that support a mobile work environment.

The winning concept this year came from the Texas Tech University team of Diana Sabouni, Rehab Aburas, Duy Pham, Haitham El-Hammali, and Islam Obeidat, mentored by Debajyoti Pati.

The project, “Innovative Design for Cancer Centers Through the Use of ‘Care Control Stations,’” was praised by the judges for its well-documented, research-focused, and thoroughly presented alternative to a traditional nurses’ station. The team’s goal was to create easily accessible—and adaptable—spaces for collaboration between doctors, nurses, and patients.

Earning an honorable mention was the University of Kansas team of Megan Norris, Sarah Lanzer, Stephanie Boyd, and Christine Bono, advised by Frank Zilm. The team’s project, “Shifting Gears in Healthcare,” focused on improving staff communication, particularly during nurse shift changes, through the creation of an enclosed space for this transition period. New “huddle spaces” in the hallways were part of the proposal, as well; these and the shift-change space featured mobile-friendly work surfaces and acoustic ceilings.

The four other finalists were:

  • “Nurturing U,” submitted by Cozette Kosary, Bob Bartels, and Adriana Guzman Mercado of the University of Kansas.
  • “The Integrations of Children’s Psychosocial Care into Disaster Response Through the Recreation of a Sense of Place,” submitted by Krista Williams of the Savannah College of Art and Design.
  • “Renovation of Crossover Healthcare Ministries,” submitted by Caroline Eddy and Jillian Chapin of Virginia Commonwealth University.
  • “Integrating Mobile Technology to Advance the Rehabilitation Care in Research Hospital,” submitted by Joseph Louis Hersheway, Zhengyang Wang, Maghan Reichert, and Morgan Zimmerman of Iowa State University.

Congratulations to all the finalists, and to the winning team, which were honored at a special awards ceremony at the 2012 HEATHCARE DESIGN Conference in Phoenix.

In the image gallery, find the concepts for all six finalists, which foreshadow a promising future for the next generation of healthcare designers. And you can find out more about the winning project and its team members in the January 2013 issue of HEALTHCARE DESIGN.


  • Ana Pinto Alexander, HKS Maregatti Interiors
  • Lee Brennan, Cuningham Group Architecture Inc.
  • Michael  L. Compton, Gresham, Smith and Partners
  • Barbara Dellinger, HDR Architecture Inc.
  • Janet Kobylka, Healthcare Designer
  • Mark Patterson, SmithGroupJJR
  • Lynette Tedder, Perkins + Will
  • Elise Valoe, Nurture by Steelcase
  • Elisa Worden-Kirouac, Gresham, Smith and Partners
  • Jean Young, Young + Co. Inc.