Saturday, April 7th, 2018, Array Architects hosted its second Mind the Gap event at the Herman Miller Showcase Room in Washington, DC. The event's title, "Mind the Gap," originates from the design team's intention to introduce students and emerging professionals to the many opportunities in the healthcare design industry that may not be communicated during undergraduate and graduate studies. This year's efforts to "Mind the Gap" featured four short form, professional presentations; a panel discussion; and, a meet and greet-style career fair.Our featured speakers and sponsors included:
- Amee Thompson (Herman Miller)
- Moira Denson (Marymount University)
- John Currie (Baskervill)
- Galen Hoeflinger (SmithGroupJJR)
- Alec Higinbotham (Array Architects) – Moderator
- Madeline Hill (Array Architects, Interior Designer)
- Gabryela Feldman (CRTKL, Senior Planner)
- Danei Cesario (Array Architects, Architect)
- Nicole Hoch (Children’s National Medical Center, Space Planner/Interior Designer)
- Chris Linthicum (Anne Arundel Medical Center, Senior Project Manager)
Meet and Greet Firms
- Array Architects
- Herman Miller
- One Source
- Wilmot Sanz
I spoke with Jack Tintle, who has experienced both of our Mind the Gap events - first as a student, then again this year as an Array employee. According to Jack:
"When I attended Mind the Gap as a student, I was impressed by how well the event was organized and by how thoughtful, insightful and humorous a lot of the presentations were. In particular, I enjoyed listening to young professionals talk about their own experiences transitioning from academic life to professional practice. I remember showing up the day of the event feeling nervous and unsure about the road ahead, but I left feeling more knowledgeable, confident and excited about a potential future in healthcare architecture.
This year, I was privileged to help my colleagues plan and coordinate Mind the Gap. I gained much more of an appreciation for the intense team effort required to make an event like this a success. I’m beyond impressed how the entire team balanced planning Mind the Gap with project work, licensure pursuits and personal responsibilities. To be honest, I was more nervous this year than I was last year because I wanted to make sure that I left an impression on young students who find themselves in positions similar to the one I was in the year before. It was a pleasure interacting with students and I hope that they left Mind the Gap this year with the same hope and confidence I did a year ago."
I was very excited to host Danei Cesario, an architect from Array's New York City office, as a speaker and guest. Following is our Q & A with her thoughts on experience:
How did it feel speaking at our Mind the Gap?
I was honored to be a part of such an impactful event! I am very active in AIA and other New York-based architecture organizations that bolster professional outreach and development. When I was asked to expand my efforts further afield, and speak about my love for healthcare architecture to emerging professionals, it was easy to say yes.
What 1-2 questions did you feel were most relevant to students?
One of the most profound questions I was asked pertained to whether healthcare architecture relied solely on standards. My response was that although this was a common misconception of healthcare architecture, this facet of architecture allows for increasingly innovative design. While we need to comply with the guidelines set by governing agencies for our clients' safety, medicine, technology and society are constantly evolving. Our designs must do the same to best serve our clients' and their patients' needs.
Did any students approach you to discuss your responses during the Meet and Greet? What were their reactions and responses?
Following the panel, six young women and two gentlemen approached me during the Meet and Greet. All of them were very positive about my responses on the panel, thanking me for speaking candidly about my personal experience in navigating architecture as a profession and as a passion. As they make the transition from academia to workplace, the attendees were most interested in professional opportunities that would foster their talents. As a result, three of those soon-to-be graduates applied to Array positions and were offered positions!
Final thoughts about the event in its entirety.
The ultimate goal of Mind the Gap was to demystify what we do every day to the future of our brilliant profession. Through a series of conversations, we were able to expose the audience to another aspect of design. I reckon the success of the event lies in the fact that the students left with another layer of education and inspiration—just in time for graduation!
This blog authored by Jennifer Matthews, former architectural designer with Array.