Victor Dadras is a long-time NYSID faculty member. He is also a partner at Dadras Architects, an architecture, interior design, and urban design consulting firm in New York City that works on commercial, residential, and healthcare facilities. He is currently teaching Survey of Healthcare Environments and Healthcare Studio I courses.
What is the background of the faculty for the MPS in Healthcare Interior Design program? Are they all designers or do some have experience working in hospitals?
Our faculty is a truly outstanding group of healthcare experts, with particular practical (and academic) experience in their specific subjects: including healthcare research, hospital administration, healthcare design education, hospital facilities, healthcare programming, hospital design and medical planning. Two great examples are: Nick Watkins, director of research and principal at BBH Design, and a recent recipient of “Researcher of the Year” award by Healthcare Design Magazine; and Steven South, senior interior designer and senior associate in the New York office of Perkins + Will. BBH and Perkins + Will are two of the largest and well-regarded healthcare firms and we are lucky to have their expertise.
Why do you think it’s important to have this program?
This is really the first program of its kind. There’s nothing else exactly like it. There are some architecture schools that have a concentration on healthcare, but it's quite different to focus solely on interior design coupled with the business of healthcare. We were hearing from firms in the healthcare design profession that young designers and facility planners just don’t have the specialized skills they need—like an understanding of evidence-based design, medical planning, and programming for healthcare interiors. These days you really need to have specific and professional credentials. I think graduates of this program, who will be much more educated and experienced in these specialties, will be highly marketable to design firms and within the healthcare field.
What type of jobs have the MPS-H graduates gone on to?
It’s been exciting to see our graduates go on to careers at some of the best healthcare design firms. Amy Carter, who graduated in 2013, is working as a healthcare planner and designer for Francis Cauffman, a firm that specializes in healthcare, corporate, higher education, and science & technology. Michelle Sampson was offered a job as a healthcare researcher at HOK — one of the top global architecture and design firms — just after graduating the MPS-H program in May 2014. And Cassandra Ramirez, a 2013 graduate, is working as a technical interior designer in the Health & Wellness division at Gensler, which is the largest architecture and design firm in the world.