Where are you from?
I am from Hyderabad, a city in the Southern part of India.
What is your degree, and what institution is it from?
Master of Architecture from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Go Blue!)
Why is healthcare design so important to you and why did you want to pursue a career in healthcare design?
I have always believed that our experiences shape our choices and make us who we are today. My beautiful memories with my grandmother during my childhood coupled with witnessing her suffer from Parkinson’s disease have made me realize the importance of health in the spaces we experience.
During my Master’s at the University of Michigan, I found my path towards health design and started exploring its impact on human psychological and physiological needs. This led me to subjects like Neuroscience in Architecture and Human-Centric Design. Working on a behavioral health project during my coursework gave me a deep appreciation of the true value of healthcare design and its impact on the betterment of a person’s life. The realization that architecture can have a solicitous and empathetic impact on a person’s experience during their time of pain has strongly motivated me to pursue a career in healthcare design.
What was it about the E. Todd Wheeler Health Fellowship that attracted you?
Coming from an academic background and always having had a keen interest in research during, the E. Todd Wheeler Fellowship feels like a perfect bridge between academia and practice. It offers an intriguing union of research and practical application, providing me with a great opportunity to explore various topics and research methodologies used in the industry. This fellowship will also allow me to continue pursuing my passion and expand my knowledge of health design.
What does it mean to you, personally, to have been selected as a health fellow at our firm?
I am incredibly thankful and humbled to have been selected as a Healthcare Fellow at Perkins&Will! This opportunity has paved the way for my initial steps into practice, aligning with my passion for health design. I hope to cherish every moment of the fellowship and gain valuable knowledge from the healthcare practice leaders and my peers. I also aspire to make a positive impact at Perkins&Will through meaningful work.
What do you hope to learn from the experience?
I hope to learn and gain experience in the core aspects of healthcare architecture. I am particularly interested in understanding how Perkins&Will’s different labs, such as the Human Experience Lab and the Living Design Lab, work to create healthy user experiences and healing environments. I am also eager to delve into the design analogies used in various healthcare facilities, and hope to gain knowledge in medical planning, technical specifications, and successful project relationships.
Has your mentor and colleagues given you the support, training, and resources to accomplish your goals?
My mentor and colleagues at the Houston office have been a tremendous support, providing me with explanations, training, and opportunities to expand my knowledge in healthcare architecture. Moreover, the practice leaders firmwide have also been very supportive and inviting, always open to engaging in conversations about research and other relevant topics. I am grateful for the positive and nurturing environment that the team at Perkins&Will has created, and I am eager to continue learning and contributing to the field with their guidance and support.
What anticipated goals and experiences were you most excited about when joining Perkins&Will?
Having been passionate about design since my undergrad, I was genuinely excited about how Perkins&Will, being a design-based firm, explores, collaborates and engages in various complexities of architecture — especially in healthcare. The opportunity to work in complex collaborative settings has been a thrilling learning experience that I am eager to embrace and gain knowledge from.
What do you hope to do, see, or experience in the city where your fellowship is taking place?
When I first heard stories and experiences about the Texas Medical Center from the Managing Director of Houston (who is currently my mentor), it fascinated me and sparked my curiosity to explore the vast medical complexes and research centers in Houston. The city’s downtown tunnels were a true surprise for me, as I had no knowledge of them until I arrived here. (It is easy to get lost in your initial days; well, I got lost twice, on my quest to find Taro Boba). I have also heard a lot about the amazing restaurants offering different cuisines in Houston, and I hope to explore each one of them someday!
How would you describe Perkins&Will’s company culture (3 words)?
Embracing, Motivating, Encouraging
5 Fun Facts About Megha…
- My love for experiencing spaces makes me stop and explore every building I walk by, and my friends often joke that I might even take them into a haunted house one day just to see the architecture!
- I still have a fascination with miniature toys and often buy one for myself whenever I come across them, just like I did since childhood.
- I am an enormous Harry Potter fanatic and recently acquired my very own Elder Wand. I hold on to the hope that one day I’ll make a spell work! Expelliarmus…!
- I have always been passionate about adventure sports and one of my biggest dreams is to do bungee jumping from the Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge in China.
- Since childhood, I have loved singing loudly to songs, and I often find myself inventing my own lyrics along the way!