The HCD 10: George Mann, Educator
George Mann, AIA
Ronald L. Skaggs, FAIA, Endowed Professor of Health Facilities Design, College of Architecture, Texas A&M University (College Station, Texas)
Who he is: Mann arrived at Texas A&M in 1966, charged with launching the university’s Architecture for Health program. Since that time, Mann has become widely known throughout the industry—an HCD 10 nomination dubbed him the “grandfather/godfather/dean of healthcare design education in the U.S.”—and hundreds have graduated from the university’s master’s program. Over the years, Mann has led more than 700 practice-based research and design studio projects all over the world, linking present students with graduates now immersed in their own healthcare design professions. He was the first holder of the Skaggs-Sprague Endowed Chair of Health Facilities Design at Texas A&M, the former director of the International Union of Architects/Public Health Group, cofounder and former president of Global University Programs in Healthcare Architecture, and founder and advisory board chairman of The RPD (Resource Planning & Development) Group.
Year in review: Mann and his students received national and international attention in 2014 when they undertook a project to research and design rapidly deployable modular isolation units for Ebola patients and others suffering from communicable diseases. The 13-day project was conducted in September in collaboration with retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. P.K. Carlton Jr., a former Air Force Surgeon General, in response to the mounting epidemic overseas—and before Ebola ever reached U.S. soil. Other notable projects include two hospitals that were designed in collaboration with HKS for the Thompson & Grace Medical City in Akwa Ibom, Nigeria, including a 400-bed women’s and children’s hospital, the first children’s hospital in the country of 180 million people. He and his students also undertook the design of the new north campus ambulatory care and sports medicine satellite facility for Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas. The recipient of numerous awards and recognitions throughout his career, Mann added one more to the list in 2014: the International Academy for Design & Health’s Lifetime Leadership Award.
What’s next: This year, Mann and his students will touch even more international destinations, with plans to design an 80-bed hospital in Honduras during the spring semester and a medical city project in East Africa. His spring 2015 research and design studio will dig into improving health and hospitals in Latin America and the Caribbean. And his long-range goals are even more ambitious. Mann has been working to strengthen the university’s interdisciplinary architecture for health research and design center, in collaboration with Texas A&M’s Health Science Center, to explore the latest solutions in design, construction, and operational research to improve access to and quality of healthcare in both developed and developing regions. His vision is to identify a younger generation of faculty leadership, as well as to design and build a new facility, to prepare for the tremendous worldwide health challenges ahead.
The HCD 10:
- Architect: Paul Strohm, senior vice president and director of healthcare, HOK (St. Louis)
- Researcher: Upali Nanda, vice president and director of research, HKS (Houston); executive director of the Center for Advanced Design Research and Education (CADRE)
- Interior designer: Christine Hester Devens, associate principal and interior project designer, AECOM (Minneapolis)
- Association/foundation executive: Jennie Evans, 2013-2014 president, Nursing Institute of Healthcare Design (NIHD)
- Facility manager: Sean Gouvin, director of facilities planning and engineering operations, Baystate Health (Springfield, Mass.)
- Educator: George Mann, Ronald L. Skaggs, FAIA, Endowed Professor of Health Facilities Design, College of Architecture, Texas A&M University (College Station, Texas)
- Provider: Matthew Gutwein, president and CEO, Health & Hospital Corp. of Marion County, and Dr. Lisa E. Harris, CEO, Eskenazi Health (Indianapolis)
- Building professional: Sam Moses, superintendent, Balfour Beatty Construction (Dallas)
- Rising star: David Grandy, associate vice president and managing director of strategic innovation, HDR (Omaha, Neb.)
- Organization of the year: ZGF Architects LLP