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KNOXVILLE — The College of Architecture and Design at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, will host a special lecture series this semester as part of a new course on health care design. The series, Designing Environments for Health, will explore the importance of architecture in the construction of health-related facilities.

“There is surmountable data showing a strong link between the built environment and patient outcomes,” said B.J. Miller, lecture series organizer and facilitator for the college. “We can create healing environments through achievable and often inexpensive measures. This lecture series will explore new design approaches to health care design and examine the future of health care in this country.”

As part of the series, several nationally renowned designers, strategists and architects — all with expertise in the field of health care planning and design — will visit the college to present their work.

The series begins at 4:15 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 15, in room 109 of the Art + Architecture Building, with a lecture by Marc Suave of Gresham Smith and Partners (GSP), a leading national architecture, engineering, interior design and planning firm.

Suave, a senior health care strategist, has spent years in health care planning and consulting. His lecture, “The Future of Health care in America,” will explore factors and historical trends of health care in this country. He will examine health care growth and investment and how changing patient acuity, disease rates and staff shortages will impact the work environment.

The rest of the lecture series includes:

Feb. 5 — “The Healing Environment” by Flem Smith. Smith, an architect and co-founder of GSP, will explore how an environment can promote healing. His lecture will examine the psychology behind healing environments and the design criteria used to impact patient experience and recovery.

Feb. 12 — “Evidence-based Design” by Kirk Hamilton. Hamilton is associate director of the Center for Health Systems and Design at Texas A & M University, where he is also an associate professor of architecture. His lecture will detail his research on the relationship between the design of health facilities and measurable organizational performance.

Feb. 19 — “Open Building Architecture for Health care” by Stephen Kendall. Kendall is an architecture professor and director of the Building Futures Institute at Ball State University. His lecture will explore new approaches in health care architecture, specifically the “open building” approach to design.

Apr. 2 — “Healing Spaces” by Barbara Crisp. Crisp is partner in the architecture firm of Max Underwood + Barbara Crisp, based in Tempe, Ariz. The focus of her design work addresses sensory experience and perception and their relationship to the psychological and physiological aspects of creating environments that support and sustain well-being. Her lecture focuses on life-enhancing environments and healing garden design.

Apr. 9 — “Designing for our Elders” by Louis Anderson, AIA, LEED AP, CNU. Anderson is a senior designer for FreemanWhite, a multi-disciplined architecture firm focused on health care and senior living. His lecture will examine senior living design as it is today and how the field is likely to evolve as pressure from “baby boomers” increases.

The visiting lecturers, in addition to their presentations, will involve the students in some exploratory creative exercises, such as designing their own retirement environment. The course also will include interactive activities, such as tours of medical facilities, to explore key wellness indicators.

The students will be working on a research project throughout the semester that will stimulate further discussion within the university of the role design plays in healing and wellness.

Additional information about each lecture will be available closer to the presentation dates.

Continuing architectural education credit can be earned at each of these lectures.

The lecture series also is viewable over the Internet both live and in archive form. See the College of Architecture and Design’s Web site,


Kristi Hintz, (865) 974-3993,

B.J. Miller, (865) 974-5267,