NewSchool of Architecture + Design

NewSchool of Architecture + Design

San Diego, CA


NewSchool of Architecture and Design Instructor Discusses Improving Patient Care Through Design

By NewSchoolSanDiego
Dec 27, '11 5:35 PM EST


San Diego—December 27, 2011—David Alan “DAK” Kopec, an associate professor at NewSchool of Architecture and Design (NSAD) in San Diego, was a panelist for two separate presentations at Build Boston 2011 in November. Kopec discussed designing interior spaces for Alzheimer’s patients and ways to improve patient care through hospital design.

Build Boston is an annual conference and trade show that is described as the largest regional event for the design and construction industry in the country. Kopec participated in the conference presentation “Research to Practice: Evidence-Based Inclusive Design,” which focused on a project to design a prototype for a healthcare facility serving Alzheimer’s patients. The prototype, which was based on research into spatial perception among the elderly and infants, included well-lit open spaces that had clear entrance and exit points. The idea was to avoid the occurrence of dark areas in a facility, which can confuse patients. The prototype also avoided “dead end” areas to make it easier for patients to find their way through the facility.

Kopec also spoke about “Patient-Centered Healthcare Design: Comfort, Confidence and a Sense of Control.” He used photos and design plans of hospitals and healthcare facilities to demonstrate how patients and caregivers can benefit from a well-designed facility in overt and subtle ways. The aim, he said, was to show how design can be used to create a more “healthy” environment for the sick. For example, a room might be designed to allow patients to have better control over entertainment options, window shades and temperature.

Kopec teaches courses at NSAD on how environmental conditions relate to and influence design and architecture. He has a Ph.D. in Environmental Psychology with a concentration in Perception and Design. Kopec has been invited to Doha, Qatar to provide a presentation in January, 2012, on “Design Thinking: Evidence-Based Design” at a regional event sponsored by Virginia Commonwealth University-Qatar. He has also been invited by MMPI Canada to present Feb. 8 at BUILDEX Vancouver on designing for the elderly and cultural diversity in design.


About the NewSchool of Architecture and Design

NewSchool of Architecture and Design (NSAD), founded in 1980, is located in San Diego, California. NSAD is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS). ACICS is listed as a nationally recognized accrediting agency by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. NSAD’s Bachelor of Architecture, Master of Architecture and Executive Master of Architecture programs are accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). NSAD also offers a pre-professional Bachelor of Arts in Architecture, a Bachelor of Science in Digital Media Arts, a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management, a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture, a Master of Landscape Architecture, a Master of Construction Management and a Master of Science in Architecture.

For more information, visit

Media Contact:
Anna Cearley
Tel. 1-619-684-8791
Cell. 1-619-301-3701