Early on, before they knew what an architect, designer, researcher, or facility manger really did, this year’s  HCD 10 honorees imagined themselves taking different career paths.

A few wanted to be teachers or doctors, another an athlete. At the age of 10, one aspired to be a TV weatherman.

“Thankfully, I didn’t go down that road because I’m sure I would have been immensely bored,” says HDR’s David Grandy, who was named the 2014 HCD 10 Rising Star.

Others aren’t so surprised by where they’ve ended up. AECOM’s Christine Hester Devens, the 2014 HCD 10 Interior Designer honoree, wrote an essay in grade school about being an interior designer when she grew up (only she thought she’d be designing Rocky Mountain homes, an idea inspired at the time by her crush on singer John Denver.)

As a kid, architect Paul Strohm, senior vice president and director of healthcare for HOK, loved to draw and build forts, tree houses, and structures around his family’s farm in southern Indiana. “I thought that architecture was a profession where you could leverage the art of building and the special nature of creation and help people,” says the 2014 HCD 10 Architect.

They’ve all taken different paths to get to where they are today, but they’re connected through their work, passion, and influence on the healthcare design industry.

I wanted to learn more about this year’s HCD 10 honorees, so I reached out and invited them to participate in our first-ever HCD 10 podcast series by answering these questions:

  • How would you finish this sentence: “If someone had told my 10-year-old self that someday I’d be a (fill in current job), I would have said…?” Why?
  • When you’re a patient receiving care in a healthcare environment, what’s the one thing that gets on your nerves the most? How could the design of the environment help alleviate that issue?
  • What’s the one design request (from patients, clients, staff, etc.) that you always hear?
  • What’s the one design request or trend you wish you would never hear again … and why?

Their answers were funny, intelligent, and thoughtful. After hours of editing down these recorded conversations, I’m still inspired by their pursuit to do more, their efforts to rethink the way healthcare design is delivered, and their desire to connect innovation to design.

Over the next several weeks, I’ll share their stories in a weekly podcast (consider it our version of Serial, only without the crime and dramatic score).

So sit back, listen, and enjoy getting to know your colleagues a little better. I know I did.

HCD 10 Podcast Series:

In Her Own Words: The HCD 10’s Christine Hester Devens

In His Own Words: The HCD 10's Sean Gouvin

In Her Own Words: The HCD 10's Upali Nanda

In His Own Words: The HCD 10's David Grandy

In His Own Words: The HCD 10's Paul Strohm

In His Own Words: The HCD 10's George Mann

In Her Own Words: The HCD 10's Jennie Evans