Like many architects, Scott Mueller, AIA, ACHA’s passion for design began with Legos. His creativity has always manifested in building and creating, from tending his garden to designing places for people to heal. Healthcare piqued his interest early in his career, but it wasn’t until he moved to Massachusetts that he began to pursue a healthcare-specific design career. Scott is now one of less than five hundred professionals certified by the American College of Healthcare Architects (ACHA) professionals in the United States.
A senior healthcare architect at Shepley Bulfinch, Scott is passionate about making better spaces for both healthcare providers and patients, so the focus can be solely on care. Read more about what inspires him and his advice for aspiring healthcare architects.
What motivates you the most?
Healthcare is one of those few universal experiences in our society, in that we all will experience the medical care system in some way. I’m inspired by the knowledge that I have the privilege of creating spaces where people can heal. There are so many opportunities to improve efficiency in operations and its impact on the day-to-day work of caregivers, while prioritizing sustainability and cost-savings. By designing efficient and comfortable healthcare environments, we can help caregivers focus on providing care, without worrying about logistics or where an item is located.
What are you most proud of in your career?
I’m the proudest when I hear the impact of our work from our clients. To know that something I worked on improved the life of someone else, and improved their ability to care for others, those are the moments I reflect on often. I’ve always enjoyed an integrated project delivery that allows us to be incredibly engaged with our partners, users, and clients. These projects are often the ones that leave the biggest impact for me because the users are just as proud of the design as we are.
What would you say to someone who wants to get involved in healthcare architecture?
Healthcare architecture is a unique blend of technical and empathetic design. You have a chance to get a window into other people’s lives that you may not get in other practice areas because you’re dealing with an incredibly vulnerable population. Find someone in the field who will challenge you to think about things differently. Another great resource is the American College of Healthcare Architects. There’s a plethora of information for people interested in the field and in career development.
Overall, I’d say, don’t be afraid to jump in. It’s a field that is always growing and changing, so you need to be passionate about learning and being innovative. The rewards are well worth it.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I love anything outdoors away from my screen. In the winter, I spend a lot of time chopping wood, and in the summer, I garden, landscape, and work in my yard. I also love to paint—I actually submitted a fine arts portfolio when I applied for my Master’s in Architecture at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. I try to find ways to stay creative outside of work.