Fresh out of grad school in 2004, David Taglione was the fifth team member to join ICrave (New York). He’s since helped the studio grow from its hospitality roots to a 40-person-plus firm with projects across a variety of sectors, including retail, dining, workplace, airport, and, most recently, healthcare.

Named director in 2014, Taglione’s work has evolved, too, with him most recently working on a range of healthcare projects, including the Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) David H. Koch Center for Cancer Care, HSS Sports Medicine Institute, and MSK Josie Robertson Surgery Center.

Part of Taglione’s success in healthcare is his ability to bring a multisector approach to projects. “One of the primary concepts that emerged early on [in our work in airports] is the understanding that if we could solve for the anxiety of a traveler, we could then build a new experience,” he says. “This thinking has a very clear parallel to challenges the healthcare industry faces.”

Another opportunity he sees is facilitating the industry’s adoption of technology. “Evolving this will be crucial for the healthcare industry to remain the primary source of quality information and care.”

On industry trends:

Thumbs up: Breaking down barriers between staff and patients. Softening this boundary and providing for a more hospitable, empathetic check-in experience is the starting point to building a relationship with your patients.

Thumbs down: “Legacy for legacy’s sake” design practices. Standardization is important to maintain a certain level and quality of design, but it doesn’t have to stand in the way of innovation.

What was your first healthcare project?

I was the project lead on the Josie Robertson Surgery Center for Memorial Sloan Kettering. This was also ICrave’s first foray into the healthcare sector.

What lesson did you learn from that project that you still carry with you today?

That any real design solution for patients needs to also solve for the staff. If you can provide space for staff to take care of their daily needs, then you can build an empowered team, which leads to better care. Simple things like a place to make a quick, private phone call go a long way to helping staff feel appreciated.

Favorite …

Quote “Do the thing you fear, and the death of fear is certain.”—Mark Twain

Weekend activity Hosting a barbecue.

Movie character Lightning McQueen from “Cars.” (Thanks to my son.)

Snack when you travel Ramen when I’m in Asia; pretzels in the U.S.

Band/musical artist Pixies.

App Smooth Parking for street parking. The design is horrible but finding a parking spot in Brooklyn can be challenging.

Sports Basketball (watch), table tennis (play).

Teams Chicago Bears (football), Milwaukee Bucks (basketball).

Guilty pleasure Potato chips.

Ice cream flavor Green tea.

Books “Ishmael” by Daniel Quinn or “Cosmos” by Carl Sagan.

City to visit Anywhere in southern Spain.

Three words that describe your design aesthetic

1 Brave

2 Modern

3 Innovative

Outside the office, you’ll likely find me….

I’m a dad, so usually with my 2-year-old son, Knox.

Morning person or night owl?

Used to be night person. But, again, now I’m a dad, so it’s morning.

Beer, wine, or liquor?

Wine, pinot noir.

How did you make your first dollar?

Probably in a bingo hall as a preteen.

Dog or cat?

Dog. Every new person at ICrave picks a spirit animal as part of their intro to the team. It’s an initiation. This past year, about 50 percent of our new team members were cat people. I also have a Corgi and have had other dogs in my life in the past. I think I just lean dog.

Your go-to karaoke song?

“It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” by R.E.M.

First album you ever bought?

R.E.M.’s “Eponymous.”

Your hidden talent?

Juggling. I’m not very good, though.

If I wasn’t an architect, I would be …

A filmmaker, carpenter, or scientist.

Taglione served as project lead for the Memorial Sloan Kettering Josie Robertson Surgery Center in New York. (Photo credit: Chris Cooper)