Research Projects

While developing the initial proposal for the addition and renovation to the hospital it became clear that if we were thinking holistically our role as interior designers was much more expansive. The RIT Hope for Honduras initiative evolved in partnership with Little Angels of Honduras and Hospital Escuela to consider the implications of broader public health access technology solutions. The interior design projects invigorated multidisciplinary interest across the RIT campus and resulted in activating a science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) collaborative led by Prof. Mary Golden.

The RIT Hope for Honduras initiative aims to support efforts to reduce infant mortality by improving access to quality medical care and educational services through design innovation. The goal of the multidisciplinary collective is to foster an exchange of knowledge from areas of divergent expertise to transform mother and infant care in the country of Honduras and most importantly, reduce the high infant mortality rate.

The current initiatives are in various stages of prototyping and build out. RIT Hope for Honduras holds potential for decades of multidisciplinary research that will enable scalability and social entrepreneurship in the country of Honduras and across the globe.

Research Projects

Honduras Research Trip 2017 students at airport
Faculty Led Study Abroad

In October 2017, a select team of students traveled to Honduras for five days on an International Research Expedition with RIT Assistant Professor Golden to inform the process of design for the neonatal transport unit, emergency incubator and Skin-to-Skin care device.

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Interior design of the Mobile Health Unit
Mobile Health Units: Pre-Hospital Emergency Care

The Honduran health system is currently experiencing systemic challenges in providing access to quality, urgent response medical care.

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Hospital Escuela Renovation and Expansion Designs for infant floor
Hospital Escuela Renovation and Expansion

A team of architects and RIT interior designers collaborated on the design for a combined 12,500 square foot addition and renovation for Hospital Escuela's NICU. This will more than double the hospital’s capacity, and for the first time, implement a skin to skin incubation education program with infectious disease protocol.

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Full Scale Design Mockup of Ambulance Interior
Neonatal Intra-Hospital Transport Unit Angel’s Arc

To address the need for safe transportation of critically ill newborns from local and rural hospitals to Hospital Escuela a multidisciplinary team of senior capstone students designed and created a full scale prototype for an intra-hospital transport ambulance staged on a Toyota Landcruiser 78 chassis.

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Design of Preemie Examination Table
Preemie Examination Table

The proposed Preemie Examination Tables are universally designed with special consideration for the safety of premature newborns and the repetitive motions of physicians performing examinations.

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Exterior and interior designs of the Mobile Education Unit
Mobile Education Unit

The Mobile Education Unit (MEU) is a proposed research and educational extension of Hospital Escuela’s Skin-to-Skin Care Program.

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Exterior and interior designs of the Mobile Education Unit
Skin-to-Skin Care Device

Working in tandem with Honduran doctors, nurses, and young mothers students developed a novel collection of cloth wraps, entitled Arbracito, a Spanish term meaning to gently hug or embrace, that enhance self-incubation results. The full design process ensures the mothers and nurses have both the materials and training necessary to properly wrap and position babies for the skin-to-skin incubation method.

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Exterior and interior designs of the Mobile Education Unit
Emergency Transport Incubator

Industrial Design MFA students in the Experimental Design Studio course, led by Associate Professor Stan Rickel innovated prototypes for an emergency transport (resuscitation kit) incubator.

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"Non-endowed funds, educational gifts, and sponsorship from alumni, family foundations, and corporate partners were dedicated to multidisciplinary faculty-student research for RIT Hope for Honduras projects and installation expenses for the 2018 WantedDesign Brooklyn Conscious Design Exhibition."

Van Horne Family Foundation

Non-endowed fund dedicated to multidisciplinary student projects in the RIT Hope for Honduras initiative.

Waldron Rise Foundation | Brown Family Fund

Endowment for access technology and universal design product development in the RIT Hope for Honduras and MO:KI projects. 

Herman Miller

Gift to the Interior Design program for booth and installation expenses for Hope for Honduras at the 2018 WantedDesign Brooklyn Conscious Design Exhibition. 

RIT Stretch Grant

Presentation at Consortium for Universities of Global Health: “A Multidisciplinary Approach to Improving Emergency and Intra-Hospital Transportation for Critically Ill Newborns in Honduras”.