Image: Southern Ellis
Engaging the NextGen at HCD
By Southern Ellis, AIA
The 2019 Healthcare Design Conference and Expo played host to the Inaugural NextGen Forum, a gathering of current and future leaders meant to inspire young professionals through discussions on the impact of health design and examining the paths of several leaders in the field. The event began with a panel discussion featuring Tushar Gupta, President of the AIA Academy of Architecture for Health, Debra Levin, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Center for Health Design
(CHD), and Clemson University professor, David Allison, FAIA, FACHA, the HCD Changemaker Award winner. Following the panel, recent graduate and rising leader, Caroline Brigham from Perkins and Will, brought a beautiful perspective outlining her work in Africa, done during her time at Rice University.
A planning focus for the event involved connecting with local universities in the Louisiana area, to reach students who have historically had limited health design courses with the hopes of inspiring a new and broader generation of passionate health designers and researchers. Ultimately, the audience was filled with students, including representatives from nearby LSU and Tulane Universities, who joined a lively and enlightening discussion that was inspiring for all.
Continuing the conversation, OM Smart Seating sponsored a lounge space at the conference center, dubbed “The NextGen Lounge”, to encourage mentorship and connection amongst current and future leaders throughout the conference.
A huge thanks to the forum organizers, a joint effort between the Academy of Architecture for Health, the Center for Health Design, Healthcare Design Magazine, the Academy of Architecture for Health Foundation, and Emerald Expositions. We look forward to continuing the discussion at next year’s HCD to continue to inspire the next generation of leaders within our field, to give them resources to grow, and to create avenues for mentorship within the Academy.