Zhipeng Lu, PhD, associate director, Center for Health Systems & Design, and Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture, Texas A&M University (College Station, Texas)

Zhipeng Lu led the first-year Master of Architecture healthcare design studio at Texas A&M University, where he’s known for his advocacy of evidence-based design as well as offering students opportunities to collaborate with users, firms, hospitals, and health systems.

Together, these efforts prepare students for real-world experiences and teach them the skills necessary to manage projects. Meanwhile, his large-scale undergraduate course engages students from various majors in health environment design and research, thereby amplifying the impact of healthcare design education.

Over the past year at Texas A&M, Lu’s contributions include his launch of a course in design for aging, in which students obtain invaluable hands-on experience via classes held at long-term care communities, allowing direct interactions with both residents and managers.

Further enriching the curriculum, Lu incorporated social and behavioral factors in design education, which deepened students’ comprehension of how environments influence people’s physical, social, and mental health while honing their design skills.

Lu also engaged students in a Facility Guidelines Institute workshop that reimagined the operating room environment, allowing students to collaborate with nurses, doctors, and design practitioners and participate in the writing of a white paper and peer-reviewed paper.

Additionally, Lu served on the steering committee of the 2022 International Union of Architects (UIA) Year of Design for Health. In this capacity, he orchestrated multiple events and spearheaded an international student competition.

Representing the U.S. as an official member of the UIA Public Health Group over the past decade, Lu has helped establish numerous avenues for knowledge exchange and professional growth at a global level, too.

Lu’s dedication to healthcare design education and his efforts in creating opportunities for young architects have significantly influenced and advanced the field, not only benefitting his students and the industry but healthcare design and research broadly.

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