Healthcare Design Magazine recently named ZGF Associate Scott Abernethy a 2018 Rising Star. Scott is one of six individuals who has been honored in the inaugural year of the awards program, which celebrates newcomers to healthcare design who are positioned to become the industry’s next great leaders. Read more in the October issue.
Throughout his academic and professional career, Scott has focused on the inherent complexity of healthcare delivery and the relationship that exists between health and the built environment. As a master’s student at Clemson University’s Architecture and Health program, Scott explored the question raised by MASS Design Group’s Michael Murphy at the 2013 Healthcare Design Conference—does the built environment have the power to better our lives, build communities, and heal individuals—in his award-winning “Placebo Effect” thesis project. Acting as a ‘placebo,’ Scott’s design explored the critical role of the built environment in connecting various health indicators to improve the wellbeing of individuals and communities. These underlying concepts now feed his professional explorations.
As a practitioner, Scott is committed to design that improves patient outcomes. He has honed his expertise by working across projects of multiple scales and types, ranging from Veteran’s Administration Design Guides to inpatient behavioral health renovations and master planning and programming for major medical campuses. Scott is also engaged in firmwide initiatives to apply data-driven and Evidence Based Design strategies throughout the design process. For example, he has helped lead the development of ZGF’s Continuous Occupancy Evaluation (COE) template that measures the effects of the built environment on people in various healthcare settings.
Scott is a licensed architect, with LEED, Fitwel, and EDAC accreditations that support his experiments with sustainable, healing designs. He was recognized as a Herman Miller Healthcare Scholar and has participated at the Healthcare Design Conference, which validated his passion for design innovation and continued learning. Additionally, his involvement in numerous health and wellbeing related committees at ZGF reinforces his commitment to bettering the field of healthcare architecture and its next generation of leaders.
In his HCD interview, Scott reflected on what has fueled his passion for healthcare design: “I love project conception. It reminds me that architecture isn’t about buildings—it’s about people. And healthcare architecture is about people at the most vulnerable times in their lives.”