Jennifer Aliber, FAIA, FACHA
On my first day of architecture school, our professor asked if we knew why we were all there. His response to his own question (the only response) was that architects like to make things. To this day, he was absolutely correct. I’m still energized every time I get to make plans and spaces that work. On top of which, I’ve come to really appreciate the practice of architecture—the engagement and collaboration with other people.
In my 30-plus year career, I’ve learned ‘problem stating’ is more than half the battle. If you can’t work with clients to effectively define and prioritize key issues, the ‘making’ phase is essentially null-and-void. My focus on healthcare planning and programming has only emphasized this lesson. For each client, my job is to make sure that all stakeholders understand the options and the design process, so that, ultimately, the architecture will support and enhance their ability to serve their patients most effectively.