WHR Architects’ Cadenhead Presents at Design + Health Congress in Singapore on Trends in Critical Care

June 24, 2009 |

Houston, TX — Charles Cadenhead FAIA, FACHA, Senior Principal at WHR Architects will join an international panel of healthcare and design specialists at Design + Health’s 6th World Congress + Exhibition in Singapore, June 24. As a participant in a session on "Design + Health Impacts on Patient, Staff and Visitors" Cadenhead will share findings from a recent WHR sponsored study  "Critical Care Unit Design, The Winners and Future Trends: An Investigative Study."

Cadenhead’s research grew out of his involvement with the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM), where he served as Chair of the Design Competition Committee from 2006-2008. Joined by his colleague, Diana C. Anderson, MD, M.Arch, WHR’s 2008-2009 Tradewell Fellow, Cadenhead analyzed the winners of the annual design competition, co-sponsored since 1992 by the SCCM, the American Association of the Critical Care Nurses (AACN) and the American Institute of the Architects/Academy of Architecture for Health (AIA/AAH).

"Our objective was two-fold," says Cadenhead. "We wanted to discover themes that correlate with therapeutic and supportive environments, and use the rich information available from the annual SCCM design competition to perform a comparative data analysis." 

"The research yielded not only comparisons of planning and design approaches and concepts," adds Anderson, "they reflect changing attitudes toward patient and family centered care and accommodations as well attitudes toward facilities for staff in the ICU."

With issues of healthcare quality and cost on the front page domestically, research of this scope is a vital tool for both clinicians and architects working in this vital specialty. In a 2007 UCLA Neurosurgery report, "ICU of the Future" the authors forecast that Intensive Care will occupy over one-half of acute care beds within the next decade and will be the focus of intense pressure to both improve care while limiting cost.


"The high level discourse scheduled for the international forum in Singapore is an important step in improving our understanding of the issues, challenging our assumptions about the way we provides healthcare and advancing the state-of-the-art in facilities design," asserts Cadenhead.

The International Academy for Design and Health (IADH) is a non-profit organization with an inter-disciplinary network dedicated to the stimulation and application of research concerning the interaction between design, health, science and culture. Founded by scientists at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm in 1997, IADH provides a highly visible international forum for promoting an ongoing global exchange of research findings among scientists, designers, and industry.

WHR Architects, a full service architecture, interior design and technology planning firm. The firm’s commitment to critical thinking is balanced by an ingrained empathy that results in both improved project outcomes and positive working experiences for their clients. With over 160 people located in Houston and Dallas, the 30-year- old firm is working on projects throughout the US for top–tier public and private education and medical institutions. WHR was named the 2008 AIA Houston Firm of the Year.

For more information, please visit www.whrarchitects.com.



Nancy Egan                

National PR Consultant            

New Voodou               


Michael Jones

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WHR Architects


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