Jimmy Macias’s career has taken him around the globe working on large healthcare projects: Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center in Fontana, Calif.; and The First People’s Hospital in Foshan, China. For the latter, he led a team of eight designers through the 2.4 million-square-foot project.

Macias, senior project designer at HMC Architects (Ontario, Calif.), says it’s easier to push the envelope when he’s working abroad because “it’s under the premise that we’re providing the client forward-thinking design,” he says.

“Thus, our preliminary conceptual ideas tend to stick through the schematic phases and become reality.”

For example, for The First People’s Hospital, the HMC design team challenged existing local approaches to wayfinding, campus organization, and patient experience to deliver a solution that optimized the project for its users.

Outside the office, Macias keeps his hands on building structures and architectural details, volunteering with Corazon, a nonprofit community development organization through which he’s helped build homes and a public transportation structure for rural communities in Tijuana, Mexico.

For Macias, he says it’s another opportunity to make a difference.

What keeps you up at night?

Project schedules. The ever-demanding project clock is always leaning on me to make the best design decisions in a limited window.

Three words that describe your design aesthetic

1. clean

2. clear

3. bright

Three items on your desk

1. a porcelain figurine from my trips to China

2. a Play-Doh sculpture

3. lots of stress balls

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

At home with my family helping with the kids or on the field in an indoor soccer match.

Dog or cat?

I have a small Yorkshire Terrier who goes by the name Ewok. He’s a playful ball of joy that loves to attack his squeaky duck toy. He’s been a part of our family for 11 years and is a little slower these days, but his love for our family has never faded.

Coffee or tea?


Morning person or night owl?

Night owl.

Book I’m reading now

I’m working on “Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t,” by Simon Sinek.

Window or aisle seat?

Window. I like to gaze at the clouds.

Must-have item for travel abroad?

Headphones to make it through those flights.

Favorite quote

“I like ruins because what remains is not the total design, but the clarity of thought, the naked structure, the spirit of the thing.” – Japanese architect Tadao Ando

Favorite city to visit

Nanjing, China. It’s filled with so much to see architecturally. You can find the latest deigns from renowned architectural projects and still find a quiet healing garden located in a temple that’s hundreds of years old.

Favorite …

Movie character: Incredible Hulk. He speaks with a calm voice and clear intentions; however, he has an alter ego that isn’t afraid to shake up the room when it’s called for.

Weekend activity: Riding bikes with the family.

Band/musical artist: Chris Cornell.

Color: Black.

Guilty pleasure: Hostess apple pies. They tend to fall into my cart sometimes.

App/website: Scrabble.

Travel snack: M&M’s.

Ice cream flavor: Rocky road.

Sport: Soccer. My favorite team is Manchester United.

Hobby: Acoustic guitar. I enjoy the crisp, authentic sound of a flamenco guitar.