The University of Utah School of Architecture profiled alumnus and HOK Director of Healthcare Thomas Quigley.
HOK Director of Healthcare Thomas Quigley discusses the firm’s approach to healthcare facility architecture and the challenge of designing for a rapidly developing market.
Excerpted from the University of Utah School of Architecture:
“We are always looking for better ways of doing something and asking ourselves: What are we learning through serving our clients around the globe and how can we bring the best ideas forward for our global community?”
Many of the firm’s healthcare projects approach or exceed the billion dollar mark with delivery time frames approaching 10 years. This adds another complexity as medical technologies and protocols are developing much more rapidly. The challenge for designing a project in an unforeseen future is pressing. Quigley describes a forward-leaning approach through clinical simulation models, rooted in design thinking and problem solving, with the acknowledgement that it likely won’t be the last design solution but rather a point in time.
In the ever-evolving landscape of the healthcare and design industry, the people who succeed are those with “entrepreneurial and self-starter personalities,” said Quigley. “There is a spirit of innovation and constant iteration, often with a lack of verification that the last series of designed solutions worked. Those who come into that environment with a lot of ideas and love to contribute will thrive in the turbulent environment that comes with that.”
Quigley describes the most pressing challenge to the field of architecture through asking: “How can we provide the best possible value in every dimension—design, planning and delivery? Architects are trying to find out where we fit in the design, technical, financial, and cultural landscape.” He describes the delivery landscape as evolving and uncertain—even from one coast to another, and including global projects from Turkey, to Australia, to Singapore—among public private partnerships, design build models, and partnerships with contractors. Architects’ relationships among the other principals from a healthcare and globalization standpoint are changing, and the need to deliver with economic and design promise among the layers of complexity is a top challenge.