Jeff Sudman: “The more detailed we can be in our endeavors the better the outcome for ourselves, our clients, and our company.”
Jeff Sudman, AIA, ACHA, NCARB, is a Senior Associate based in Dallas and currently manages the HSS projects.
1. Where did you grow up?
Fort Calhoun, NE
2. How did you get into design?
I took an Autocad class in high school then changed to Architecture when Engineering lost my interest.
3. Who influenced you?
Rod Booze, was a large influence on me. When I started with Ascension Group, I had a few years work experience but not much in depth healthcare work. Being the small company at the time, he was able to work very closely with me on our first large hospital project. Many days he spent sitting right behind me, directing me what to draw, I would challenge him and ask why do it this way, and he would explain the code or why this method was better. It was during this back and forth, that I learned the hierarchies and interconnectedness of healthcare planning. Now I am able to take that knowledge, passed to me during those sessions, and create successful projects on my own. As opportunities arise, I am trying to do the same with the other young architects and planners in our office, directing my knowledge and skills to all that I interact with.
During the beginning of my career I worked with several project managers and architects, many of them were given opportunities that I desired for myself, usually because their resume had more experience or they supposedly had more knowledge. Over time I saw most of these people fail, and then it was left to me and others to pick up the pieces and solve the problem. It was these challenges that taught me better ways to manage people and resources, once I was in a leadership position. The more detailed we can be in our endeavors the better the outcome for ourselves, our clients, and our company. The most important job a project manager has is finding solutions to problems, being creative and collaborating on those solutions is what motivates me to succeed.
4. Why healthcare architecture?
Stumbled into it somewhat. I had done some healthcare prior to starting 18 years ago working for Rod Booze, David Watkins, and Erick Westerholm, and stuck with it.
5. What inspires you?
New technologies and the ‘what if’ that the future may hold.
6. What advice can you give young designers?
Know all the code and technical stuff thoroughly. All the design skills and talent in the world won’t matter a bit, if it can’t be built or doesn’t work for people to use.
7. Most memorable projects?
Presbyterian Hospital of Denton, TX, as it was my first large hospital that I was intimately involved in all parts of.
8. What is your favorite part of the design process?
Creating the models and bringing an idea to 3D life.
9. Where do you see healthcare design in 5 years?
A mix of very large central hospitals, and in a larger portion much smaller mixed-use micro-hospitals and outpatient centers to bring medical care closer to the patients.
10. How do you unplug?
Family time, I try to minimize the amount of weekend hours I work, keep that time for the family, and the occasional binge watching of favorite sci-fi and fantasy series.