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Healthcare Design: Q+A with Local Healthcare Design Professionals

Spotlight on: the 2019 BLB Keynote Speaker

Emerging Leader Profile: Featuring Bethany Burns
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Healthcare Design
Q+A with Local Design Professionals

This month, we are featuring healthcare design insights from a couple of local design professionals. Anna Mancini, Associate and Interior Designer at Shepley Bulfinch, and Anthony Miniscalco, Healthcare Architect, answered questions around trends in the industry, elements that can cross over to other sectors, and some interesting takeaways about the Healthcare Design field.

What design trends are you seeing in healthcare that borrow from or influence other design sectors?

Anna: I’ve seen a shift where the design sectors are blending together and borrowing from one another in many areas. Whether it be hospitals, retail, educational, commercial the goals are becoming increasingly similar. Creating spaces that recognize individuality, providing choice and variation, understanding that what works for one does not work for all.

Anthony: Health is not just the absence of sickness, it is about well-being. Design for healthcare isn’t designing a place for a sick person. It is creating an environment that supports well-being through a culture of health. We, as architects and designers, have a responsibility to support health through our design decisions. We start the design process by asking what the community needs. We use that information to determine what programs support those needs; only then we can we start imagining a space to accommodate. Health touches all sectors of our lives.

What best practices in healthcare design do you see as being the most transferable to other project typologies?

Anthony: Design is not neutral: it either supports or detracts from our well-being. Programs like Well and FitWel are workplace wellness tools to help make design decisions that support user’s health. They can apply to all project typologies, touching on a wide variety of criteria for well-being including nourishment, fitness, and transportation.

Anna: There are a few inherent ones that come to mind:
  1. Access to nature and views - universal need to connect with the outdoors
  2. Clear wayfinding - not having to rely on signage to help someone get from A to B, but inherently designed within the spaces 
  3. Reducing visual clutter to reduce stress and anxiety in our overly distracted world.
  4. Staying ahead and capitalizing on ever-changing technology

Name something from a recent project that might be surprising to hear about by someone outside of healthcare design.

Anthony: As of April 1, 2019, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has made it a requirement in their plan review criteria, to design for patients of size. This affects the clearances in rooms and increased capacities to support movement of patients of size in patient areas.

Anna: There are great design opportunities in healthcare. Especially areas where patients heal, families gather and staff work. Providing areas of respite, regeneration, positive distraction, celebration, spaces for learning and teaching, communication and collaboration respectively.
Designing spaces that balance the clinical and technological aspects of healthcare with those that promote a sense of calmness and mindfulness for the patient as an individual, and family members as valued and respected contributors to the health and well-being of the patient.


Spotlight on:
the 2019 BLB Keynote Speaker

The 27th annual IIDA Business Leader's Breakfast will be held on Thursday, May 9, 2019 at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel. This year's keynote speaker is #1 bestselling author and motivational speaker Erik Qualman. Erik has performed in over 50 countries and reached more than 25 million people. As the author of five books on digital leadership, he was voted the 2nd Most Likeable Author in the World behind Harry Potter’s J.K. Rowling. Erik Qualman has been called the "Digital Dale Carnegie" and the "Tony Robbins of Tech." To learn more about Erik visit the IIDA NE website 

Be sure to grab your tickets to the Business Leaders Breakfast before they are 100% sold out!

Professional Development CEU Event
4.24 // CEU Event: WELL V2 and FITWEL Changes and Updates

IIDA NE Business Leaders Breakfast
5.09 // Please join IIDA NE for the 27th Annual Business Leaders Breakfast

2019 Green RI
5.14 // Please join the IIDA NE Providence Chapter for the 2019 Green RI Sustainable Product Showcase

Hartford City Center Habitat for Humanity
5.18 // Please join the IIDA NE Hartford Chapter for the first annual Habitat for Humanity Women Build Day

Providence City Center Habitat for Humanity
5.18 //Details to follow

16th Annual Croquet Tournament
6.20 // Please join IIDA NE for the 16th Annual Croquet Tournament in Newport, RI
Did you know there are 2.6 doctors per 1000 patients in the United States?
Do you have an idea that you would like to share with the design community or see highlighted here in The Wire? Send your ideas to

Bethany Burns

Company: LLB Architects
Concentration: Interiors
College/University: New England School of Art & Design at Suffolk University (NESAD)
Year(s) of Graduation: 2012
What is your strongest personal quality:  I'm told I'm very personable. I get along with everyone and am very empathetic.
What skill set are you most proud of professionally?:  I'm a hard worker. If there's a deadline I won't leave the office until it is finished. 
What was your favorite toy when you were a kid?: My dollhouse and art supplies were my favorite growing up. I used to build additions to my dollhouse, paint pictures for the interior, and would have a photo shoot with the family. 

What do you hope to accomplish as an IIDA Emerging Leader?: Public speaking! I'm ok with smaller groups, but still get nervous with larger groups.  
What's your go to for de-stressing?:  I love yoga, barre, and running. 
Revit, CAD, or Sketchup?:  Revit 
Are you usually early or late?:  I'm an optimist - I always think I have more time than I do :) 
What three things are in your bag?:  I keep a notebook, pens, and mints with me. 

What is your favorite part of being an IIDA member?:  I love being on the philanthropy committee and all of the great things we do throughout the year. It is very rewarding.  
Why did you choose to become an Interior Designer?: I love the way a space can be designed to enhance someone's mood. I'm all about making people happy. 
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