In Good Company
If you’re fortunate, your career is peppered with a few special moments and milestones that link your years together and celebrate your work. In my life, I’ve been blessed with more than my share of these moments. The latest was this July when I was inducted as an Honorary Fellow in the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) College of Fellows.
Each year, ASID bestows the titles of Fellow or Honorary Fellow to individuals who demonstrate outstanding service and contributions to the society, the profession, and the interior design industry. It was a happy and unforgettable event, and I’m proud of this honor.
I’m also proud that healthcare was so well represented at the ASID National Awards ceremony held in Washington, D.C., as almost all those inducted (seven Fellows and two Honorary Fellows) had some tentacles in the world of health and wellness. Additionally, Jane Rohde, principal of JSR Associates Inc., who has worked tirelessly for decades as an advocate for more diverse and humanistic spaces for seniors, received ASID’s annual Design for Humanity award. Paul Scialla was recognized with the Design for Innovation award for the creation of the International WELL Building Institute. For ASID, an organization that’s broadly focused across multiple design sectors, these numbers are impressive and telling of how much the healthcare design industry has grown and how many lives and careers are being touched by the body of work.
As the award ceremony was coming to an end, master of ceremonies Reed Kroloff, principal of Jones/Kroloff, noted that for many people, awards are a pinnacle, the period at the end of a sentence. But for those who had received honors that night, they were merely a comma, a moment to pause and reflect before tackling the next set of challenges.
This is what I love so much about our industry—it’s made up of an army of individuals who are driven by a passion and a calling, not a paycheck. People who are dedicated to using their careers for the betterment of the lives of millions of people they will never meet and solving serious and significant social problems and safety issues using design and space as tools. There’s not an end point; rather, just the next set of interesting challenges. It’s a community of people of which I’m proud to be a part.
This industry has a long history of taking on social issues and solving complex problems through design. Among the issues we’re currently facing are a growing population with behavioral health issues, the safety of an already challenged work force, and ongoing uncertainty tied to the future direction of healthcare reform. What we do know is that design can be the impetus for change and improvement and that, as a community, we’ll continue to find innovative solutions that contribute to positive health outcomes and improve the experience for patients, families, and staff.