Unveiling Our Digital Donor Recognition

This is the time of year when we gear up for attending our first philanthropy conference of the year -- the Association of Fundraising Professionals, which is meeting in Atlanta next week.

Before each event like this we design and email a special invitation to our email list, which many of you might not have a chance to see. (If you'd like to be on our list, use the link at the right to email me.)

We put all of our design creativity into these pieces, so I have decided to start posting them here for your enjoyment.

This one also announces the unveiling at the AFP show of our new DIGITAL DONOR RECOGNITION offerings. We are very excited about the possiblities for marrying our permanent monument-style Donor Art with the amazing capability of digital technology. Read on!

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CC- AFP unveiling digital - back for blog


The Great Healers: Gratitude and Beauty

Nightingale Award

Recently I was asked to reflect on some fascinating questions: How does the Donor Recognition work we do for healthcare institutions directly contribute to their quality of care? Do our installations affect patient outcomes, and if so, how?

These questions were on the application for the Nightingale Product Design Awards, which honor excellence and innovation in healthcare products. They are sponsored by the Center for Health Design, the Healthcare Design Conference and Contract magazine.  

I'll share my answers with you in a moment, but  first I want to announce that we WON the Nightingale Silver Award for Architectural Products! It was a unique experience for me, "pitting" our luminous carved crystal against products like privacy curtains, nurses stations and antimicrobial drawer pulls. 

Christina in booth - Nightingale Award -003

One of the Nightingale judges examines our work at the Healthcare Design Conference last weekend.

I believe deeply that our Art Glass pieces are every bit as important in a hospital as these more obviously practical products. And that's what I explained to the Nightingale panel of architects, facility designers and interior designers who were the judges. 

Our Donor Recognition not only honors our clients’ most generous donors, it inspires new donations that become the capital and operating costs of the whole hospital. Heartfelt, top-quality Donor Recognition is pivotal in building and maintaining these institutions as a community asset.

University of Utah - Eccles for email insertion-1

Our Donor Wall at the Eccles Critical Care Pavilion in Salt Lake City reads, "We are all members of a single family, the family of humankind."

In addition, the exquisite imagery and inspiring words on our artwork promote confidence in patients and a high sense of self-worth in professional and support staff. Our luminous panels also transmit, celebrate and reaffirm a hospital’s mission and values. They help brand an institution -- a vital contribution in today’s competitive market.

Jewish Center Close Up

Donor Wall with olive leaves at San Francisco's Jewish Family and Children's Services

Evidence-Based Design has shown that fine art -- especially when it includes beautiful images from nature, as ours does -- contributes significantly to a patient’s recovery by measurably reducing stress and pain. Dr. Upali Nanda, one of the leading researchers in Evidence-based Design, writes, “Viewing artwork with appropriate nature content has been seen to reduce stress and pain perception, as measured by physiological outcomes such as blood pressure, heart-rate, and skin conductance, in addition to self-report measures.

Jain Malkin, the renowned healthcare interior designer, says, "Real art -- as opposed to decorative art -- touches the soul and reaches the viewer emotionally. It expresses energy, life force, and has deep spiritual meaning that can help the viewer transform pain and suffering to reach a higher state of consciousness."

Each of our pieces of chisel-cut and etched Art Glass is designed as a work of fine art that transmits inspiring messages of spirituality and gratitude. Gratitude has a documented impact on physical and emotional health.

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Detail of inspirational images and text on our Donor Wall at Children's Hospital Boston

The positive effect of integrating one-of-a-kind, inspirational fine artwork into hospital lobbies was testified to by keynote speaker Knut Bergsland in his keynote at the Healthcare Design Conference in 2005. In describing the impact of hospital lobbies on actual health outcomes and the development of goodwill in patients, families, visitors and staff entering a medical facility, he said, “People’s first impressions when they walk into a building have a disproportionate impact on the rest of their experience there."

Our products are also the vehicles for inspirational messages, welcoming patients and their families as they enter the hospital, and setting a positive and reassuring tone for their whole visit.

I am honored that the team of judges for the Nightingale Awards recognized the important and multifaceted role our Donor Recognition plays in the field of healthcare.

I want to close by saying that I love what I do! I love listening to clients tell me what they need, I love designing, I love honoring the generous souls who support healthcare institutions, and most of all I love that our Art Glass is helping patients heal and return home quickly to their families.

A heartfelt thank you to all our clients for giving us the opportunity to do this work,

Christina sig cropped

The Delight of Designing for Museums

CA at HCD showI am in Houston this week at the amazing annual expo of the American Association of Museums. Among the wealth of technical exhibits -- such as lighting, display hardware and catalog printing -- there are fascinating booths sponsored by companies that create replicas of our primitive ancestors, life-sized dinosaur skeletons and exotic mammals. What an eyeful!

We have done quite a bit of Art Glass and Donor Recognition for museums in our 35-plus years in the "gratitude business," as I call it. These projects have been some of my favorites, and I thought you'd enjoy seeing just a few. (The links will take you to our website, where you'll find more photos and detailed descriptions of each project.)

Clay Performing Arts with onlooker
A striking carved and etched dancer (from an original image by famed photographer Lois Greenfield) glows in changing day-to-night LED colors at the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences in Charleston, WV. We created a combination Donor Recognition-Art Glass mural in the theater lobby. The design also features a "diamond necklace" of fractals trailing across the crystal panels -- a visual reference to the children’s discovery museum attached to the theater. I'm proud to say that this installation was the winner of a Creativity 35 Award of Distinction!


We also used dramatic photography in this National Baseball Hall of Fame Tribute to the great Buck O’Neil, a player, scout and coach who paved the way for African-Americans in major league baseball. O’Neil was known as a consummate gentleman both on and off the field. It was a special treat to select vintage photos of him -- and of the ballpark he called home -- and render them in etched crystal. We use a proprietary technique to develop and convert photographs into a fine DPI (dot per inch) etchable matrix that we then use to create permanent monument-style, highly readable and realistic 3-D images and portraits.

St. joseph with viewer horizontal
At St. Joseph Medical Center in Baltimore, we created a Heritage Wall that uses images and artifacts from the hospital's long history to create a permanent lobby exhibit of seven niches of carved and etched crystal. The panels not only celebrate the founding and growth of the hospital, they thank the institution's donors while serving as powerful branding and identity statements in the competitive Baltimore healthcare market.

Museum of Fine Arts

At the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, FL, we were asked to create a Donor Recognition wall to serve as an eye-catching piece of art in their lobby. Because the museum is known for its dramatic collection of Steuben glass, we aimed to create an Art Glass piece that showed off the elegance and timelessness of deep V-cut carving in crystal.

The crystal panels are edge-lit by strips of LEDs hidden in custom brackets at top and bottom. Crystal acts like a fiber optic, so when light is directed at the edge of a panel, it travels through the glass, highlighting the carving and making its message visible from quite a distance.

Designing for museums is a fascinating process. It gives us the chance to show our unique ability to create stunningly beautiful Art Glass that also serves practical purposes by providing information, identity statements and Donor Recognition.

If you happen to be in the Houston area, MuseumExpo 2011 runs through the 25th. I hope you'll stop by booth 1604 and say hi! 

Christina sig cropped

Two Great Shows

I recently got back from two exciting trade shows, one in Los Angeles and one in Washington, D.C.

The American Association of Museums Show, held in L.A., is attended by museum curators, designer, architects and fundraisers from all over the world. We talked to some fascinating people, including two young women from the Mongolian Art Museum in Ulan Bator who are looking at developing international financial support for a museum that would preserve their amazing cultural heritage.

The second show was the annual convention put on by SEGD, the Society for Environmental Graphic Design. This group is a global community of people who are "working at the intersection of communication design and the built environment."

Their members, including our Studio, create environmental graphics such as donor recognition (like our 3-D crystal tribute to the Ginsburg family at Florida Hospital, above), wayfinding systems, architectural graphics, signage, exhibit design, and retail and store design.

It's a talented group of people and I got to meet them and take in lots of great ideas, products, and designs.