About Us:

Generative Space Week….

Following, is a chronology of the formal events of the annual Generative Space Weeks. We welcome you to create your own local event, and to share the news of these with us and our readers.


The Generative Space Task Force (GSTF) was initiated under the auspices of The CARITAS Project in June, 2013. It began with a hosted Working Dinner, in the Chicago DIRTT showroom, on the Wednesday evening of the Neocon event. A small group of individuals:

Sally Augustin
Tama Duffy Day
Terry Houk
Betsy Maddox
David Nienheuser
Wayne Ruga
Bob Schaefer
Martin Wolf

enjoyed the generative conviviality of each others’ good company — and DIRTT’s culinary extravaganza — to discuss a variety of ideas that evolved into three very specific programs. 1) The annual Generative Space Week; 2) The AIA Generative Space Charette; and 3) The annual GSTF event at the Symposium (HFSE). The progression and evolution of these programs are described in the years that follow.

The first annual Generative Space Week was launched on 27 September 2013, with a series of events and programs scheduled around the world. The City of Chicago was chosen to be the epi-center for this global initiative, with the annual Healthcare Facilities Symposium and Expo  serving as the focal point for this first year.

The first annual Generative Space Week featured the following elements:

  • The first annual AIA Student Design Charette. Click to read: Article | Itinerary | Projects.
  • The global premiere performance of Dr. Mark Rowe’s ‘Prescription for Happiness’. See www.doctormarkrowe.com for updates of his highly successful — and rapidly expanding —international performance schedule, which is a project of Dr. Rowe’s generative space practice.
  • The Generative Space Track within the annual Healthcare Facilities Symposium and Expo, including the Pre-Conference Workshop and the presentation of the Generative Space Award – see www.aplacetoflourish.net for information about the Award and www.hcarefacilities.com for information about the Symposium and its Generative Space programs.

The concept of ‘generative space’ describes a place that both systemically and sustainably improves individual lives, organizational performance, and overall community wellbeing. The extreme outcome of a more generative space is ‘a place to flourish’®. Learning how to achieve this is simple, practical, cost-effective, and low-tech. It is based upon demonstrated evidence from international research that has been field-tested and extensively peer-reviewed.

Generative Space Week is a project of The CARITAS Project, a US-based non-profit organization, working globally to pioneer new ways to improve health and healthcare with design of the environment. To learn more about the evolution of generative space, please visit the ‘Leading by Design’ section of The Caritas Project website.

The purpose of Generative Space Week is to ‘change the pattern’. It is a living demonstration for all of us to experience the life-enhancing benefits of generative space, and to know – from our own personal experience – how being in ‘a place to flourish’® enables meaningful improvements to occur for each of us.


In 2014, the initial Generative Space Task Force was expanded to include the following members:

Sally Augustin
Orest Burdiak
Tama Duffy Day
Samantha Duba
Heather Fennimore
Sharon Folliard
Shannon Gedey
Deborah Hawkins
Liz Hockman, Co Chair
Terence Houk
Brent Hussong
Lira Luis
Betsy Maddox, Co Chair
David Nienhueser
Ana Pinto-Alexander
Wayne Ruga
Susanne Schnell
Bob Schaefer
Gregory Splinter
Rod Vickroy
Joe Weber
Martin Wolf

At its 2014 annual meeting, the Task Force agreed to work towards the following aspiration:

‘To work towards establishing Chicago as the world’s leading exemplar of the healthiest city for everyone living, working in, and visiting Chicago – based on producing experiences of generative space. In doing so, Chicago will become a learning laboratory for all other cities to learn from – and, in their doing so – to raise the global bar on improvements to individual health, organizational performance, and overall community well-being.’

To begin this work, the Task Force has initiated a Generative Space Tour Program, which it is piloting during Generative Space Week 2014. Each one of the three initial tours will provide its participants with a first-hand experience of generative space, and the opportunity to engage with an experienced professional, leading the tour, to learn more about how to bring the benefits of this experience into their own lives, organizations, and communities.

The Task Force anticipates expanding the offering of these tours – both during future Generative Space Weeks in Chicago, as well as throughout the year – and, in time, offering similar Tour Programs in other locations, throughout the world. Information about the 2014 Generative Space Tour Program follows:

Generative Space Week Tours

Organized by the Generative Space Task Force of The CARITAS Project …providing experiences:                                           
       to discover, learn, and improve; and to enhance our vitality…

Thursday, October 2, 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm, Downtown Chicago locations

1.  Health and Wellness Design Practice Tour at the Gensler Office,  lead by Tama Duffy Day, Rod Vickroy, and Sarah Bader.  Tour will include: introductions, briefing, project presentations, office tour, and discussion. Tour will begin at the Reception Desk, 11 East Madison, Suite 300, Chicago. (Gensler is a leading design firm; Tama, Rod, and Sarah lead the ‘Health and Wellness Practice’). See www.gensler.com for more information about Gensler. Contact Tama at: email – tama_duffyday@gensler.com,  twitter – @TamaDuffyDay

2.  Health Walk Tour in Millennium Park, featuring Generative Space experiences and discussions, lead by Chicago Native and HFSE Advisory Board Member Orest Burdiak. Tour will begin at ‘The Bean’, in Millennium Park, and proceed gently on foot. If it’s raining, bring an umbrella. Contact Orest at:  email – orest.burdiak@va.gov

3.  Generative Space Tour of the Humanscale Showroom in the Chicago Merchandise Mart, lead by Liz Hockman, Co-Chair of the Generative Space Task Force. Tour will include: introductions, ergonomic briefing, hands-on product demonstrations, showroom tour and discussion.   Tour will begin at the Main Reception Desk, in the Main Lobby, 222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, Chicago. (Humanscale is a leading ergonomic product company; Liz is a ‘Healthcare Specialist’). See www.humanscale.com for more information about Humanscale. Contact Liz at: mobile – 773 – 960 – 4955

NO FEE will be charged for any of these tours.

Advance registration and tickets are required.  Each tour is limited to a maximum of 50 ticketed participants. To obtain a ticket, click here.

Organized and Produced by:
The Caritas Project
in Partnership with the Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo (HFSE)
Healthcare Facilities Symposium and Expo

Sponsored by Humanscale

Generative Space Week 2014 also includes a series of programs and special events at the annual Healthcare Facilities Symposium and Expo. These include: (1) the second annual AIA/TCP Student Design Charette. Click here to read about the charette; (2) the Pre-Conference Workshop; (3) the Generative Space Track; and (4) the presentation of the Generative Space Awards. For information, please see www.hcarefacilities.com/generativespace.asp.


The following participants joined the Generative Space Task Force in 2015

Brent Hussong
Michael Remien
Michael Day
Paul Barach
Rod Vickroy
Brian Spears

The Third Annual Generative Space Week will continue to span the annual Healthcare Facilities Symposium and Expo, and include several projects in conjunction with the HFSE, including: (1) the Pre-Conference Workshop, (2) the presentation of the Generative Space Awards, (3) the AIA/TCP Student Design Charette, (4) the Generative Space Primer, (5) and three tours — one of the trade expo, one of the Chicago Cultural Center, and the final one of a home (by invitation only).  For additional information, see www.hcarefacilities.com .

Please click this article link for a detailed description for the events that were produced in 2015.

The Fourth Annual Generative Space Week was held 16–23 September 2016.

The following new participants joined the Generative Space Task Force (GSTF) in 2016:

Rick Bailey
Blythe Lee
Elizabeth Melos
Kadie Yale

The Fourth Annual Generative Space Week continued to span the annual Healthcare Facilities Symposium and Expo (HFSE), which relocated to the Hilton Hotel in Orlando. This year’s annual Generative Space Week continued the tradition of incorporating several events held in conjunction with the HFSE, including: (1) the presentation of the annual Generative Space Award; (2) the Generative Space Track programs; and (3) an ‘Intuitive Design Workshop’ described in further detail below.

Please click this article link for highlights of the events produced in 2016.

Gregory Splinter, a current Leading by Design participant and Generative Space Task Force (GSTF) member, presented a Generative Space workshop during the annual Healthcare Facilities Symposium + Expo, in Orlando, Florida, on Wednesday afternoon, 21 September. Titled ‘An Intuitive Design Workshop’, it was a two-hour long program held in the Orlando office of Stantec, co-sponsored by Stantec and Humanscale. Each participant created their own intuitive drawing to access their deep inner wisdom as Gregory ‘actively exercised health design leadership to cultivate a more generative space to create “a place to flourish”’.

The illustration, below, is the intuitive drawing that Gregory did for himself during the workshop. Gregory describes this illustration as:

‘The magic for me was, with the participants’ help, discerning and interpreting this drawing as being a musical instrument. The participants helped me connect the idea that my best service to others, as the workshop facilitator, was to be an ‘instrument!’ That meant I wasn’t the music. I wasn’t the musician. I was, in the best possible sense, the instrument which others played to make their own special music. I was ‘instrumental’ for others to express their best possible selves, to beautifully connect with their own reality, in their own expressive fashion.’

George Splinter

The Fifth Annual Generative Space Week was held 15–22 September 2017.

Please click here for a description of Generative Space events at the 2017 Healthcare Facilities Symposium and Expo in Austin, TX.

This year’s GSTF program, in Austin, Texas, was a discussion group led by Elizabeth Melas, Director of Capital Projects at the Rush University Medical Center, in Chicago. The discussion focused on the recent design and construction of a Pediatric Oncology Infusion Unit at Rush. The group was hosted in the offices of Gensler.

At the Jamboree event hosted by Humanscale Healthcare, HFSE and TCP founder Wayne Ruga was honored with the performance of a song, written to commemorate his ’30 year anniversary of transforming healthcare design’. Click here for the words and music.

The Sixth Annual Generative Space Week was 6-13 October 2018.

In 2018, three new individuals joined the annual GSTF Working Dinner meeting, hosted in the Chicago office of Stantec. The individuals were:

Paul Alt
Marybeth Dietz
Douglas King

The GSTF group decided to invite Gregory Splinter to present his ‘Intuitive Design Workshop’ again, as the designated GSTF event at the Healthcare Facilities Symposium and Expo (Gregory presented it at the Symposium GSTF event in Orlando, in 2016 – see description, above). This was presented in the Austin office of Gensler, on Wednesday afternoon, 10 October, from 1.30 – 3.30 – see photo above. As has been the custom, this is available to all Symposium attendees and members of the local professional community at no cost.

The Seventh Annual Generative Space Week was 13 – 20 September 2019.

In June 2019, six new individuals joined the annual GSTF Working Dinner meeting, hosted in the Chicago office of the SmithGroup.  The individuals were:

Steve Blye
Courtney Byers
Rada Doytcheva
Holly Harris
BJ Miller
Stephen Sharlach

The GSTF group decided, again, to ask Gregory Splinter to present his ‘Intuitive Design Workshop’ as the designated GSTF event at the HFSE in Boston, during the Generative Space Week.  The workshop was presented at the Hynes Convention Center – free for HFSE attendees and local professionals (see collage below).


To further support of the Generative Space Week celebration of learning experiences, a series of 5 Generative Space programs were presented during the HFSE.

Additionally, the Tenth Annual Generative Space Award was presented during the annual HFSE Awards Luncheon — for detail about the project, go to: www.aplacetoflourish.net and click on the ‘Generative Space Award’ and then the ‘2019 Award Recipient’. For an overview of the project, click here.

The Eighth Annual Generative Space Week will be 18 – 25 September 2020.