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

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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 detachApack (2)


detachApack: A Versatile Medical Clinic System


Duffel Bag and Frame/Lounge components of detachApack

DetachApack is a system designed to allow medical personnel to reach their set destination whether it be across difficult terrain, deep rivers, or other obstacles. These packs allow clinics to set up at the furthest of villages even when trucks cannot drive there. If the backpacks are stored on the trucks, then at any point when driving becomes too difficult, each team member can grab a backpack and they can finish the remainder of the distance on foot.

Zip-off detachable ends and compartments for organization of supplies

Each backpack consists of a pack frame and a duffel bag. The pack frame is multifunctional. Not only is it used to add comfort and help support the pack while hiking, but it also converts into a lounge for the patients to lie on while being examined, a chair for the medical staff, and even a stretcher in case of a critical needs patient. The duffel bag consists of three color coded pieces. The charcoal pieces on the end can be zipped off and used in the exam areas by the doctors and nurses. The blue center piece is then used in the pharmacy area. All pieces have organizational dividers so that all supplies are kept in place throughout the hike and are easy to find once at the clinic destination.

Frame/Lounge can also be used as a stretcher in the event of an emergency

The final review was a very helpful critique. We discussed the ways in which the packs could be filled with the exact same supplies or labeled when they differ. I think that it would be most beneficial if each backpack’s medical (charcoal-colored) bags were the same and each pack’s pharmaceutical (blue-colored) bag were different. Each packs medical compartments need to be the same so that each doctor and nurse can have every supply they need at hand and not go search around for supplies in others’ bags. Each pharmaceutical bag needs to be different, perhaps a different category of medication. Therefore when setting up the pharmacy area, the bags can be arranged in a helpful order by prescription type.

PDF of detachApack presentation



DetachApack is a mobile medical unit designed for quick and easy setup, along with minimal use of materials and supplies. The pack would include one day’s worth of supplies, medical and pharmaceutical, for 8 medical personal. Each pack also includes one fold out lounge; this would accommodate a patient and a doctor at each station. Supplies would be organized within the pack by dividers, as well as zip off sections to separate the medical from the pharmaceutical supplies. The mobile medical unit would serve approximately 250 Haitians over a four day period with a set of 8 backpacks per day.The detachApack being used by a medical personnel.

Though the pack functioned as was planned there were a couple lessons learned, as well as a few minor tweaks that would make the pack even more functional. The first major lessoned learned from the nurses, would be to make sure there is a good separation between the pharmacy and the doctor and nurses. This would help with crowd control and security of both the medical and pharmaceutical supplies.  The original intent of the detachApack was for the medical and pharmaceutical supplies to be separate from one another in setup, but more specific instructions would improve upon this idea.The fold out lounge chair that could be used for patient examinations.

A functional issue that could be designed better is the fold out lounge chair. Though the idea was beneficial and useful, the design was too low to the ground. This would cause for the doctor to be bent over most of the day. The design could be easily fixed to accommodate a system of telescoping legs for adjustable height as well as the possibility of uneven terrain at the site.

The ends of each pack can be zipped off to be distributed to separate areas of the clinic setup.

 A final critique of the project was the labeling system, or lack thereof. Other than making the zip off sections different colors there was no indication of what was included within the pack. To assist in the ease of setup, a clear indication on each bag of what was inside, such as a list of supplies or a number to indicate what day the bag was to be used for, would decrease a possible mix-ups of bags or the nurses not being able to find a certain medicine quickly. Each bag would also need to be slightly modified to accommodate a space to carry water, as well as an individual lunch for each medical personnel per day.

detachApack presentation pdf