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 Mobile Clinic (2)


Mobile Medical Clinic | Dump Light

After working with Aaron Brown and Caroline McDonald on the beginning stages of our mobile medical unit, I broke off and started a new analysis of program and needs of a Haitian mobile medical clinic moving around Haiti.

I found that we had already addressed several important issues; however, I decided to make a few changes.




I created a smaller version of our original ‘Dump Truck’ design, one that could be more applicable and in use in a more common way. The size made it more accommodating for any regular size bed of a pick up truck. It was meant to be (mostly) of a steel material, and once planted onto a site, it was designed to unfold into a multi space unit.



Because Haiti’s medical experience is several years behind the United States and our techniques and processes, I had to take numerous things into consideration. There, the pharmacy is meant to be separate from the actual medical examination process. I took this into account by allowing the actual original unit to become the secured pharmacy one arrival, helping to separate the check in/waiting area from the examination area.




Since this specific design is reliant on a vehicle, I provided an option for non-truck use, which would include using the main shelf wall located within the actual unit. The wall would actually be composed of backpacks with drawers and shelves, meant to remain on the wall, but with the possibility of pulling out and being carried on individual’s backs.



One of the main critiques I have come across with existing mobile clinics around Haiti is that most of them are designed to last a day, and there are well over double the amount of people that actually need to be seen. With this, the overall unit is meant to act as a multiday clinic, stocked with supplies to last for 4-5 days. Personal supplies for the workers and people visiting the clinic will be stored inside the unit and pulled out and used when needed (cots, benches, chairs, work surfaces). 


The Kabwet Clinic

The Kabwet Clinic helps to both bring medical aid to Haitians in need that may not otherwise be able to travel to or afford a visit to a hospital.  It combines modular, secure storage units with a durable, versatile cart to bring supplies and opportunities to the more remote, rural settings of Haiti.  The cart was designed to travel over most terrains, to be easily repaired with the replacement of readily available parts (i.e. used car tires, scrap wood/metal), and to transform from a vehicle to a work surface.  

Transformation of Cart into Table


















 The cart would be stocked and distributed from hospitals around the country.  They can be loaded onto a truck, towed by motor vehicle, donkey, or pushed by person.  This style of pushed cart is often used in Haiti, but with more found materials and handmade construction.  This cart could be manufactured in the US, but the use of simple construction techniques would allow for more carts to be built in Haiti with whatever material is available.  

Cart functioning as a work surface

The storage containers were designed for multi-functionality in that they are water-tight containers, can be used for seating or work surfaces, and include a detachable connection that allows for the use of other found containers with the entire unit.  A critique given about the containers was that they would initially have to be fabricated in the US, an unlikely and difficult solution to the problem at hand.  With the design of a specific connection detail, however, virtually any container could be used in this mobile clinic system.  

Connection Detail














One of the features of the Kabwet Clinic is the break-away medical kit.  In a response to an emergency, it would be used, once the cart had arrived to a village and set up camp, to venture into the more remote locations to address any problems found.  The break-away kit would also be used to travel to rural homes and help educate citizens on proper first aid.  One of the most frequent causes of serious injury or infection is the mistreatment or neglect to care for minor injuries when they first happen.  The break-away kit includes graphic directions to address the language barrier, and to help educated Haitians on proper first aid techniques.  

The Break-Away Kit