University of Southern Indiana
Minka Ribbon Cutting Photo

About the Minka

The University of Southern Indiana's College of Nursing and Health Professions is using the Minka on campus to create a smart home telehealth incubation lab to study aging in place and train health care professionals. Learn more about USI's Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP).

USI unveiled the prefabricated Minka house at a ribbon cutting on Wednesday, October 24, 2018. The dwelling, one of the first of its kind, was built on campus in less than a week and designed by nationally-renowned aging expert Dr. Bill Thomas. The Minka was designed using universal design accessibility and advanced manufacturing technology and will serve as a model house and simulation lab for USI students across multiple disciplines.

The Minka model house is the culmination of a year-long pilot project titled Multi-Ability, multi-Generational, Inclusive Community (MAGIC) that was funded by USI, the USI Foundation and supported by AARP (formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons), which has worked with Thomas previously on projects related to aging.

The MAGIC project included collaboration with USI faculty and community partners, an undergraduate course in participatory design and construction of the model house. Read more ...

Inside Indiana Business Interview - December 26, 2018

Watch More Videos about the Minka:

MAGIC Course Offerings in 2019
HP 490 - ST-MAGIC:MultiGenInclCommBldg
 (Multi-Ability, multi-Generational Inclusive Community Building)

Kyrié Carpenter, a member of Dr. Bill Thomas’ team, will be teaching the HP490 course again during the Spring of 2019 semester. This course is an introduction to the MAGIC pilot project between Dr. Bill Thomas and USI. During the course, participants will explore the dynamic complexity of building inclusive communities for people of different ages, abilities and backgrounds. Learn more ...

Construction Updates

Bill and kana inside Minka

Oct. 23 photo of mink

dr. thomas with students

framed Minka house

web blocks

photo of Minka construction

soil mechanics students and excavator

Minka Soil Sampling Photo

Dr. Adam Tennant, assistant professor of Engineering, and his CE381 (Soil Mechanics) students perform initial soil tests at the anticipated site of the MAGIC Model House on the campus of the University of Southern Indiana. 

"Sampling soil is vital so that subsequent tests can be performed to identify the soil type and discover the behavior of the soil," said Tennant. "We used a hand auger with a  3-1/4”  head to drill into the soil at three different locations. We collected the soil at various depths to determine the moisture content of the soil in situ."

Additionally, the students collected all the soil at a depth of around 3 feet to determine, gradation (size of particles), specific weight, plasticity, permeability and will collect more samples at later dates during the semester.

The students returned to the Minka site again October. They had an excavator dig some soil which they will study in the soil lab for this year and in years to come. They have performed about eight geotechnical experiments on the soil so far. For another assignment in the Construction Estimating class, also taught by Tennant, two of the students also documented some of the construction activities and interviewed one of the laborers.


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