September 21-23, 2021
Austin Convention Center | Austin, TX

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The Leaflet Article

Featured Article:

Knowing 'Generative Space'

Dr. Wayne Ruga, FAIA, FIIDA, Hon. FASID

You know your own good self better than anyone else does – only you know what works for you. For example, how hot you like your bath, or whether you would even prefer taking a shower instead of a bath…only you can know. This self-awareness of our personal preferences is a crucial characteristic of how we each engage with our environment – and, these decisions we make about how we engage with our environment have a direct and profound impact on the quality of our health, healthcare, and well-being.

‘Generative space’ is a new approach to designing environments that both systemically and sustainably improves lives, organizations, and communities. Since its introduction in 2003, ‘generative space’ design has been used around the world to develop an impressive and growing knowledge base of peer-reviewed, research-based evidence. In fact, this year’s HFSE programs will provide you with the opportunity to personally have experiences that will enable you to know ‘generative space’.

Friday, 27 September 2013, marks the beginning of a new era. This is the launch date for the first annual global ‘Generative Space Week’, which will include a wide range of diverse programs that are organized to enable HFSE attendees to have personal opportunities to know ‘generative space’.

Participate in just one, several, or all of these programs and you be the judge…which is one of the very unique characteristics of ‘generative space’ – each participant in a ‘generative space’ experience is inherently empowered to judge and give voice to the quality of their experience in their own words, and to provide feedback that will accountably be used to support ongoing improvements to the environment.

The range of 'generative space' opportunities at this year's HFSE will include:

  • The Pre-Conference Workshop: ‘Generative Space’ Master Class, being held at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital
  • The 12 separate presentations in the ‘Generative Space’ Track – including a ‘Student Charette’, in partnership with the Chicago AIA, involving groups of students from several universities and lasting 6 days
  • The Fourth Annual ‘Generative Space’ Award presentation
  • The Humanscale Networking Mixer
  • Inaugural World Premiere Special Event (by invitation, Thursday – inquires please email

In addition, programs and events will occur around the world during ‘Generative Space Week’ to support a growing awareness of the many tangible and measurable benefits of ‘generative space’. And – as we all know that mighty oak trees all begin from tiny acorns – there is no doubt that this emerging best-practice design approach will meaningfully inform this new generation of health and healthcare environments. In fact, it will ‘reform’ the entire global enterprise of how environments are currently being conceived, planned, designed, built, operated, maintained, and modified.

Indeed, this year’s HFSE will provide you with the unique opportunity to check this out yourself – to ‘kick the tires’ and ‘hear it directly from the horses’ mouths’. Inasmuch as a small group of individuals proudly claim the distinction of their having attended the very first ‘Symposium’ just a brief 26 years ago – similarly, 27 September 2013 marks the dawn of a new era and – in precisely the same way that the ‘Symposium’ has taken on a life of its own and grown over time to change the course of history – so will this first annual ‘Generative Space Week’. But, since there will always ever only be this first new dawn…and you are being invited to personally experience it, and come to know ‘generative space’ from your own experiences at this year’s HFSE - it is now up to you to make the decisions that will make this unique possibility available to your own, very good self.

For additional information, please see:

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