Miller Hull

Acknowledging the inspiring humans in our buildings

6-8-2020 | Blog

By Elizabeth Moggio, AIA
Senior Associate

During this difficult time, it’s important to recognize the absolutely critical and inspiring work that is being done around the world to lessen the impact of and guide the public response to the current global pandemic. As designers, it is also helpful and centering to take a moment to appreciate how important the work of the humans who inhabit our buildings is to our own health, as well as local and global communities.

For our Seattle studio, an incredible effort on this front is underway in our own backyard by the future tenants of the Hans Rosling Center for Population Health at the University of Washington, one of Miller Hull’s soon-to-be completed projects. When the Hans Rosling Center opens later this year, it will house three core contributors to the University of Washington’s Population Health Initiative. The researchers and faculty from the Department of Global Health, School of Public Health, and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) will be sitting in the spaces we carefully composed and designed with them, supporting communities with publicly available data analysis, strategic initiatives, and implementation programs in developing countries and closer to home in our underserved communities in the Puget Sound region.

Since the early weeks of the COVID-19 outbreak, IHME has been tracking, processing, and creating clear visual representations of crucial data related to the virus. The data that’s being compiled and analyzed by the IHME has been shared as an open source with government officials and public agencies to develop plans for developing healthcare responses and determining the resources needed to ensure people receive proper care.

The Health Sciences Education Building at the University of Washington is another of our projects that will support the university’s Population Health Initiative, and that recognizes that the nature of the challenges our society will need to tackle are increasingly interconnected. When it opens in 2022, it will define a new environment with classrooms and labs that enable and inspire pharmacists, doctors, nurses, dentists, physical and occupational therapists, public health experts, and social workers to learn together how to deliver holistic, joint medical care. These small interdisciplinary groups are on the front lines right now, and we are watching real time the magic of cooperation and collaboration between health professionals when it works well.

We, at Miller Hull, are so fortunate to have gotten to know the groups at the University of Washington who do this inspiring work. The project teams for each of these projects are an active part in contributing to our health and our community’s success in a quiet, inspiring way. I try to remember to step back occasionally and remember what a gift it is to be involved in shaping the spaces that will foster and support collaboration between these professionals. Our lives literally depend on this right now.