August 3, 2007

What is the smallest space for a refracting lane and exam room?

The smallest refracting lane/exam room I've ever done was 7'-6" x
10'. I spoke to this client recently and he says it's working very
well for him. He has a small writing counter and sink to the right
of the chair and the computer with digital eye chart monitor to the

This client was in a situation where he needed to fit 3 exam rooms
into the space that originally held 2 exam rooms. The narrow width
of the room actually works to his advantage because it only takes a
short roll on the stool between computer and writing counter.
Believe it or not, he even has a guest chair in there!

I've seen people make exam rooms as narrow as 6'-6" work but only
when the phoropter is wall-mounted. Most folks find that 8' x 12'
is a comfortable size for an exam room. However, it is possible to
work in a smaller space if you have to.

August 2, 2007


The elegant Paris department store, makes it's home
in this massive architectural wonder. I always enjoy shopping the
high end department stores in New York, like Bloomingdales, Barneys
and Saks Fifth Avenue, but I'll never be able to look at them in
quite the same way now that I've see Printemps.

The spectacular glass dome is the centerpiece and heart of the
store. Three tiers of exquisitely detailed balconies rise from the
main floor to ring the domed atrium. My hat is off to the Printemps
store design team. They have preserved the original architecture,
but added modern lighting in a way that enhances the grand style of
this building.

The different colors behind the railings are a high-tech addition
that you'll see in more and more new stores here in the states.
This LED (Light Emitting Diode) technology is harnessed and
programmed by computer to change color throughout the day.

LED''s are energy efficient and run cool, unlike halogen or
incandescent lights. The initial cost of LED lighting is higher,
but the light source runs for thousands and thousands of hours
(could be 10 years or more!) before you ever have to service the
fixture. Studies show that the average utility cost is much lower
over the life of the fixture.

The cost of these systems is still prohibitive for smaller
retailers, but like all technology today, the cost comes down as
each new generation of the product is created. I predict that it
won't be long before color-change lighting systems will fit into
the construction budget for O.D.'s who want to attract high-end

Here in the USA we have fewer opportunities to find spaces with
beautiful architectural detailing like this for an optometry
office. However, we can be inspired by these ideas and adapt them
to add a touch of high-tech wonder to new designs.

August 1, 2007

The Happy at Work Manifesto By Alexander Kjerulf

Much of what happens to us in life is beyond our control, but
Kjerulf tells us that being happy at work is a choice. His message
is simple, yet inspiring: When you decide to take steps toward
being happy, you can be.