Framing A Dream...2007

Since 2003, through collaboration between Phoenix Children's Hospital, ASU Professor Jose Bernardi,, and IIDA Southwest Chapter, a project in construction methods has become an avenue for a dream. The foundation of the project is to understand and develop joints and connections. The secondary focus is to create a frame for a dream, something that serves as a tangible representation of a child's wishes.

Children being treated long-term at Phoenix Children's Hospital Cancer Center submits a list of dreams and aspirations to teams that make up Professor Bernardi's third year Interior Design construction methods studio. The parameters of the project are simple, take four weeks and build a freestanding, frame 11"x 11". Upon completion of the project, the students should generate a piece of art that is both meaningful and aesthetically pleasing.

Explains Cassie Wardle, Child Life Specialist at Phoenix Children's Hospital, "each child eagerly anticipates their completed wish project. All of these children have spent or will spend a considerable amount of time in the hospital. These projects provide them with a distraction and escape from their illness, even if it is only for a brief moment."

This year's diverse list of dreams ranged from being a punk rock star, to having a giant robotic golden retriever dog, to just wanting to be well again. Each year the teams are met with their own set of unique design challenges. Some may seem overwhelming, but the students have the responsibility to design projects that honor and dignify each distinctive aspiration with creativity and quality.

The project that seemed to win over jurors this year was inspired by an 11 year old boy named Will. His wish was to go to Florida and visit Disneyworld. Students Lynea Rodriguez and Amanda Heimer designed a tree house based on the adventures of the Swiss Family Robinson. "Will's tree house represents the imagination and enchantment embodied in Disneyworld. The branches and roots represent strength, growth and the endearing support of family and friends," says Rodriguez and Heimer. The tree house is constructed of baltic birch with natural oil finish, clear acrylic, and aluminum/steel fixtures.

Other student teams included Jodie Smith and Lyndsay Osburn; Rebecca Sorensen and Shannon Jones; Jenny Kern and Josie Urban; Jennifer Bals and Gita Widjaja; Stephanie J. Fanger and Caylen O. Yanuey; Susanna Fishleder and Theodora Sutanto; Elleta McDaniel and Charlotte Linton; Shirley Bucknor and Tammy Le Pham; Judith Ng and Nameth Sotpiparpnukul; Christine Shaw, Holly Dezinski and Kristin Schwab; Danielle Hensley and Vanessa Heuer; Andrea Burdett and Sadie Darsie; Nadim Halwani and Lauren Van Maren; and Megan Williams and Megan Bohr.

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