In the fall of 2012, VMDO Architects along with VS America and Buckingham researchers Dr. Terry Huang of the University of Nebraska and Dr. Matthew Trowbridge of the University of Virginia co-produced Insights 3 : Healthy by Design / Architecture’s New Terrain – The Dining Commons / Promoting Healthy + Active FoodSmart™ Kids.

You can read the full publication online here. Below is a synopsis of the publication:

THE DINING COMMONS represents a new direction in design research. Architects, public health researchers, educators, and VS

[ergonomic furniture manufacturer] come together to examine one of the most complex environmental health issues of  our time: childhood obesity. This design-research partnership marks a powerful moment in the design of learning environments as experts from disparate yet interrelated disciplines engage with the problem of childhood obesity by seeking to understand the political, social, economic, ecological, and infrastructural agendas that make up the school food environment.

The DINING COMMONS highlights design strategies implemented at the Carter G. Woodson Education Complex in Buckingham County, VA. This K-5 campus project was completed in summer 2012 with the aim of promoting healthful eating and physical activity with a particular emphasis on the design of indoor and outdoor dining, teaching / activity spaces, and connectivity with the larger community. Follow-up studies will be conducted by academic institutions from across the country (forthcoming in summer 2014).

Contributions from VMDO, Dr. Terry Huang, Dr. Matthew Trowbridge, VS America