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Reimagining Healthcare Design: Insights from the 2023 HCD + Expo in New Orleans


The Parkin design team had the privilege of attending the Healthcare Design Conference + Expo, (HCD + Expo) in New Orleans, an event renowned for its expertise in healthcare architecture and design. Our team, comprised of Tysa Thomson, Rebecca MacDonald, Laura Hann, Cedric du Montier, and Cindy O’Brien, immersed in a plethora of enlightening sessions, discussions, and innovations. We’re excited to share our key takeaways and insights with our fellow architects, healthcare planners, and professionals involved in hospital design.

The Ultimate Learning Experience

The HCD + Expo proved to be an invaluable source of inspiration and education. From courses focusing on healthcare equity to lighting innovations and critical care space design, the conference covered a broad spectrum of topics essential for shaping the future of healthcare environments. We gained insights into new technologies, explored the intricacies of pediatric care design, and learned about the WELL Building Standard and its implications for healthcare facilities.

Key Learning Sessions

One of the highlights of the conference was the RAISE the bar session: emphasizing the importance of research and evidence-based design in healthcare. The acronym, standing for Re-think, Appraise, Inquire, Study, and Empower, encapsulates the iterative process necessary for elevating healthcare design standards. In addition to this, we engaged in interactive experiences such as virtual escape rooms, site tours of mental health facilities, and coaching workshops, all of which offered practical insights and strategies for enhancing patient outcomes through thoughtful design.

Innovations and Trends

The event showcased cutting-edge innovations and trends that are reshaping the healthcare design landscape. It was thrilling to see the industry embrace a holistic and patient-centred approach to creating healing environments, from the integration of behavioral health considerations into design to the implementation of mock-ups and simulations for testing new concepts. Furthermore, discussions on rural health, long-term care, and operating room design provided valuable perspectives on addressing diverse healthcare needs across different settings.

“When we presented the re-cap of the 2023 HCD + Expo to the Parkin team, we saw our colleagues get inspired and start to share ideas of how to re-imagine new ways of approaching design in healthcare. This encapsulating the spirit of innovation and collaboration that permeated the event, particularly with the digital advancements in design, which allows us to explore our surroundings in new ways and use creative and interactive gaming techniques to explore priorities in healthcare design.” – Parkin Design Team in Attendance at The Healthcare Design Conference + Expo

Inspiration and Collaboration

As we reflect on our experience at the HCD + Expo, we are reminded of the power of collaboration and inspiration in driving positive change in healthcare design. The conference served as a platform for networking with industry experts, exchanging ideas with peers, and fostering innovative thinking.

The 2023 HCD + Expo in New Orleans was a transformative experience for the Parkin design team, providing us with the knowledge, inspiration, and connections necessary to drive modernization in healthcare design. As we continue our journey, we are committed to leveraging our learnings from the conference to create environments that prioritize healing, wellness, and inclusivity.

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