Rising star 2021: Pelin Ozgul


Current projects: I am working on a complete 230,000 square foot, 10 story cancer center that includes new and refurbished inpatient and outpatient care spaces. We have worked with a large and diverse group of users to plan different departments to increase the contact time between staff and patients.

The best advice you received: My favorite quote is from Mahatma Gandhi: “Be the change you want to see in the world”. After I went to study at UC Berkeley, I learned that no one offers you the opportunities or resources to materialize your ideas. If you want something, go get it! I live according to this mantra. My HDR mentor Heidi Higgason added a new level to my vision: “Avoid tunnel vision in your career development so you don’t miss a great opportunity. Sometimes it is important not only to do one’s job, but to do the necessary work, filling in the gaps that are seen “.

Sources of inspiration: It is important to define your personal purpose and to align your career with it. Having my mission, my passion and my work aligned, I look forward to waking up every morning to pick up where I left off.I am inspired by the opportunity to make the lives of distressed occupants less stressful and more enjoyable. I am guided by the possibility of designing smart buildings that do not excessively consume our planet’s limited resources. I want to pay tribute to my first professional inspiration, Dame Zaha Hadid, who represents the determination, work ethic, success and exceptional approach to design that I treasure.

Trends you are tracking: I’d like to see more healthcare systems adopt lean, patient-centered operations. It’s disappointing to hear: “We decided not to choose this option because that’s not how we do things here.” Change is uncomfortable, but mastering adaptation and flexibility will become a core skill for leaders and organizations in this new decade.

Your crystal ball says: With the rapid development of digital health technologies, it is only a matter of time before we see a shift from disease treatment to disease prevention. Our healthcare design industry has mastered the experience-centric retail healthcare concept that works well today. Now, we must engage in data-driven research and health technologies for flexible design solutions and be part of this global change.

Dream project: My Dream Project is a network of net-zero curative wellness centers designed around innovation, accessibility and efficiency to disrupt access to healthcare in our country and around the world. This network focuses on three key challenges: cost, transportation, quality … We need better care, closer to home and within the financial reach of our communities.

Memorable pandemic moment: In the early stages of the pandemic, when there was a significant shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), I joined forces with some other young professionals and led an office-level effort to produce PPE for the local healthcare community . Playing an active role in supporting my community during this unprecedented time has allowed me to remain true to my purpose of making a lasting impact on the well-being of the communities I serve.


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