Hand Drawings to AI, The Evolution of Healthcare Architecture | Gary Vance, Architect and Author

In this episode, Doug talks with architect and author Gary Vance whose career is split between the pre-computer and post-computer era of the industry. Not only has Gary's workflow changed tremendously, but his client interactions have changed as well. The transition to CAD and email in the workplace caused a notable shift—it changed the way clients viewed and commented on design drawings. Before computers, architects relied heavily on sketches to communicate ideas with clients. With the introduction of CAD, drawings initially made clients think designs were finalized, hindering feedback.

Gary feels nostalgic for his early career, but there are plenty of challenges today in healthcare design that need addressed. One example is the need for privacy in a healthcare setting. It seems obvious, but the use of curtains to separate two patients makes privacy very difficult. Gary emphasizes the importance of private patient rooms to provide comfort, confidentiality, and dignity as standard in contemporary healthcare settings. 

So, what are some interesting ways to involve technology in the world of architecture that is different than current applications? Not so different than pilots and truck drivers learning on simulators, why can't architects do the same? Architectural practice simulations could offer solutions to problems before they are encountered in the real world—problems such as dinosaur dung. Yes, that's right, early in his career Gary had a test pile failure blamed on ancient dinosaur dung at the job site.

The next phase of Gary's career is his wonderful book series—"Kid Architect"—which aims to introduce children and young adults to architecture and related fields. Gary has a passion for educating youth about architecture so they understand what the profession entails before pursuing it. 

Learn more about Kid Architect here.

Learn more about Gary Vance here.

Watch the full podcast here.


  • Doug Shapiro
  • Gary Vance
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