February 07, 2012
Interior design student makes a difference with her design at Children’s Hospital Boston
Healthcare design is a really big market, so it’s a good experience to get exposed to before I graduate.
Alexandra Desaulniers, Interior Design, '12
Co-op Employer: Children’s Hospital Boston
Co-op Position: Interior Design Intern
Hometown: Watertown, Connecticut
Compassion by Design
Alexandra Desaulniers, BIND ’12, doesn’t practice medicine, but she’s sure her work at the Children’s Hospital Boston had a positive impact on the lives of patients. Her role as an interior design intern included collaborating with architects as well as working on space planning, material research, and furniture selection. It also meant spending a good deal of time around the children and their families as she worked to revamp their surroundings. “By designing for them you’re really helping improve their experience, because a lot of these kids don’t get to leave the hospital all that often. It was definitely an eye-opening experience,” she said.
Preparing for the Future
Desaulniers’ previous co-op experience was at Amenta/Emma Architects, where she worked on construction documents and interior door frame planning for Western Connecticut University’s new Visual and Performing Arts Center. At Children’s Hospital Boston, she spent more time working on interior design and facilities management, but the collaborative aspects of her work have remained constant through both co-ops. In addition to consulting with outside architects on hospital renovations, she also met with the patient’s families to gather input. “Healthcare design is a really big market, so it’s a good experience to get exposed to before I graduate,” she said, “It was definitely very helpful to see what goes into planning these facilities.”
From Here to Healthcare
Desaulniers’ work at Children’s Hospital Boston has left her with a desire to help others through her work. “I like designs that actually impact people’s well-being—things that will help people get better and improve their lives,” she said. Which is why when given the option to design anything for her senior project, Desaulniers chose a drug rehabilitation center. When she graduates, Desaulniers plans to find an architecture or interior design firm that specializes in healthcare design.