Richard RucksdashelPrincipal | Director of Health, Houston at HKS, Inc.
Richard has 18 years of experience in all phases of architecture, specializing in healthcare and cancer center design. He is the Director of Health in HKS’ Houston office, where his role is to manage the healthcare projects and serve clients in the design and construction process. He also focuses on cancer center, hybrid O.R., imaging and proton therapy design as well as medical planning. His recent project experience includes the Pavilion Project, an expansion of imaging and perioperative services at MD Anderson Cancer Center and the CHI Baylor St. Lukes Medical Center.Connect With Richard On LinkedIn
Designing a space that works can be a tough challenge. Designing a healthcare space that works can be near impossible. In the past, the design has been very subjective in nature, and what looks good or works for someone might be the complete opposite for someone else. But, with the rapidly changing landscape of healthcare design and operation, scientific evidence for design is becoming the new standard for providing the best space.
Richard Rucksdashel, Director of Healthcare for HKS Houston is one of the people pushing for a more evidence-based design standard in the healthcare design community. Richard explains, “We think this is where we see us going to best serve our clients. And one of that is in our ability to deliver research that allows our clients to be confident in the decisions that they want to make. So that leads us to be trusted advisors…”
The idea that the best practice for design in a medical facility should be based in the scientific method sounds somewhat obvious, but until recently it has rarely been used, according to Rucksdashel. Fortunately, HKS has devoted a research team to spend countless hours evaluating various design ideas and determine if the data supports those ideas. Richard also praised several of his colleagues who would be considered his competition in also driving design from a scientific point of view. He says that his passion for the patients who come to the facilities that he designs drives him to focus on their well-being, even if the design came from a competitor.
With all the constant change that technology brings to the healthcare industry, HKS is leading the charge through evidence-based design. Richard adds an additional point about what the focus should be for all designers in healthcare, “The thing that really makes that so important is that technology leads to better recovery... And that's the one thing that you never want to get too far away from.”