You get an inspired new prayer space for the residents at NewBridge on the Charles long-term care community!

This winter, twenty-one high school students from over a dozen different communities across greater-Boston are participating in a new kind of service project. The Brandeis Design Lab brings Jewish teens together to partner with a local Jewish organization to tackle a physical design challenge in their community. The partnering organization, Hebrew Senior Life, agreed to let teens redesign the conservatory space in the lobby of their Health Center so it can be used as an inspiring  prayer space for weekly Shabbat and holiday services for residents in long-term care. In conversations with the staff and residents of Hebrew Senior Life, the teens learned that the lobby of the building is sometimes used for services, but that it does not “feel like a synagogue” nor does it lend itself to a spiritual experience for those using the space.

The teens used the brainstorming process of Design Thinking to tackle the design challenge facing Hebrew Senior Life, asking: How might we make the current prayer space feel like a synagogue to give residents a meaningful prayer experience? Teens interviewed residents and staff to gain insights on how they are using the space and what they wish could be changed. Based on this information, teens went to the drawing board to start brainstorming ideas of how to transform the space. Over the course of eight Sunday sessions, teens will have developed prototypes, built out their ideas and transformed the space and prayer experience to better meet the needs of the residents and staff.

On April 3, 2016 at 2:00pm all are welcome to view the final product when the Brandeis Design Lab teens host a community dedication event at NewBridge on the Charles in the Gloria Adelson Field Health Care Center (7000 Great Meadow Road, Dedham). The teens will talk about the design process they went through along with their experience working with the residents, and show off the different elements of the space they built for the community. Hope to see you there!

For more information about the Brandeis Design Lab Teen Fellowship visit: http://www.brandeis.edu/highschool/designlab