The American Institute of Architects' Pennsylvania chapter included student awards at their annual awards gala at a Barnes Museum November 12, 2014.
I was stunned to learn, about two weeks before the event, that I had been nominated by my University of Pennsylania (where I recently received a master of architecture degree) professors. To be included in an evening where many well-known firms and professionals were honored was quite amazing! When I was studying at Penn, I was awarded the Henry Adams Medal from the AIA, so I feel very fortunate to be recognized twice for design excellence.
As an architectural designer based in Dallas, Texas, I get to work with teams of architects, planners and interior designers to create healing environments at hospitals across the country. I am currently involved in a new hospital complex in Ohio and a Health and Wellness Center in Florida. Focusing on healthcare design is important to me because the results of a good design is evident by the feeling that people have when they enter a space. For a person suffering from an illness, or from the perspective of a family member visiting a loved one, how they react to the physical space of the hospital has an impact on how they feel about the treatment they receive while there.
Working with the team in the Dallas office has given me great perspecfive on the many ways a healing environment can be designed. Several of my colleagues have worked on large hospital projects and the team as a whole enbodies the firm's culture of lean design. The work we do daily, combined with interactions at client meetings with those who deliver patient care, drives me to keep the term 'award-winning' top-of-mind when designing healthcare spaces. The award may not be a physical certificate like the ones I've received while in design school, the award may be simply the reward of seeing the built space and how my designs contribute to a healthier community.
Gray Garmon, a member of Array's Dallas office until February, 2015, has taken a faculty postion with Sothern Methodist University.