April 6, 2020

Q&A

Healthcare Interior Designer Q&A | Linnea Rehnke

April 6, 2020

Q&A

Healthcare Interior Designer Q&A | Linnea Rehnke

April 6, 2020

Q&A

This post is in a series where we talk to healthcare interior designers about their work as interior designers in the healthcare market.

Linnea Rehnke is the Manager of Capital Projects, Planning, Design and Construction at Advocate Aurora Health. She is certified by the American Academy of Healthcare Interior Designers (AAHID).

What is one book, person, or talk that has been most influential in your career?

Generations at Work: Managing the Clash of Boomers, Gen Xers and Gen Yers in the Workplace. While it’s not design related, it opened my eyes to how we all work differently. It has helped me immensely in understanding what each of us needs to work well together and to utilize and develop everyone’s strengths to create a more cohesive team.

What products have you been excited about recently?

I am most excited about the new Healthier Hospitals compliant resilient flooring options that have been coming to the market. My company has a strong sustainability program and we are always searching for products that meet those ideals. Healthier Hospitals has helped make sense of all of the different rating criteria to evaluate what we are bringing into our buildings. It has focused us to push the market and demand better products without the use of harmful chemicals. That has led to numerous new products on the market in the last few years, and more yet to come. It will be exciting to see what comes next.

Do you have any go-to design solutions or techniques for creating healing environments?

Biophilia is the best go-to I have found, as have so many others. Anything we can do to connect our guests and team members to nature will improve healing and overall well-being. Case studies show the terrific impact biophilic design has on any industry, not just healthcare. It is something we should be implementing whenever and wherever we can.

If you could tell your younger self one thing, what would it be?

Healthcare design is nothing like what I had imagined it to be. As it turns out, it is one of the most challenging and rewarding directions I could have taken my career. The rules are constantly changing and we need to keep up, while also creating comfortable, healing spaces for a variety of customers. Healthcare encompasses hospitality, commercial, sometimes retail or food service, as well as the actual patient care and support spaces. It really is a little bit of everything and there is always something new and challenging to take on.

What is one product that doesn't exist but should?

With today’s technological advancements, it’s hard to imagine that something does not yet exist. Advancing and expanding our options within the Healthier Hospitals flooring criteria would be what I would want most, unless of course someone can create a self-cleaning floor. No maintenance floors in a healthcare environment would be a complete game-changer for the industry.

We've also talked to Crystal Hill (Odell Associates), Dr. Debra Harris (RAD Consultants), Libby Laguta (L2D.Design), Kristin Ellingsen (Office Furniture Group), Kimberly Bernheimer (PF&A Design), Melissa Perry (Inventure), Kelley Dorsett (HDR), Christin Troutman (MCA), Keith Stanton (Thoma-Holec Design), Clairanne Pesce (Array Architects), Linnea Rehnke (Advocate Aurora Health), Marleen Milligan (Cuningham Group), Jamison Delfino (Taylor Design), Drusilla Brewer (The East Group), Marianne Graffam (Sizeler Thompson Brown Architects), and more.