August 11, 2019|News

Healthcare Interior Designer Q&A | Ashleigh Pfluger

interior-designer-ashleigh-pfluger-TJNG-PartnersThis post is in a series where we talk to healthcare interior designers about their work and industry.
Ashleigh Pfluger is a Partner and Interior Designer at TJNG Partners and 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?

Hands down it would have to be the book "Biomimicry” by Janine Benyus. I read it when it first came out in 1997 and it actually inspired me to become a vegetarian for 18 years. It was my first intro into “environmentalism” and it completely changed the way I wanted to be in the world. I had the chance to meet her at a talk and told her what an impression it had on me and how I felt about the living world. She was so gracious and humble…great book and an inspirational person!

What products have you been excited about recently?

I can’t say that there any products specifically that I am excited about. I am excited about a collection of innovative products coming together to create spaces of wellness and prevention. It may sound like a no-brainer to promote wellness in a hospital, but you would be surprised how unique it can be in the healthcare setting. There are nods here and there and we see a turn towards promoting wellness more prominently, but taking care of sickness has been the healthcare model for so long that it's slow to shift. The move towards actively promoting preventive healthcare instead of curative is the most exciting thing I see in the industry now.

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

Not really…each project is unique. I want to be able to listen without a preconceived idea of what is right for the client. I don’t subscribe to too many notions about what good design is…in my view, that is completely subjective outside of what is appropriate related to infection prevention and evidence-based design or best practice. Even within those parameters there is a tremendous amount of flexibility to be as creative as you want to be.

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

You have so much to learn and so much to gain. Be kind to yourself and give yourself room to mess up.

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

Wireless power. Whoever invents this will rule the world.

We've also talked to Michelle Clark (REES Associates)Jennifer Fink (BDA Architects)Lindsay Hampton (Pulse Design Group)Melinda Avila-Torio (THW Design)Lilliana Alvarado (UPHEALING)Jane Rohde (JSR Associates)John DuBard (Boulder Associates)Lisa Cini (Mosaic Design Studio)Susan Clark (Clark Patterson Lee), Crystal Hill (Odell Associates)Dr. Debra Harris (RAD Consultants)Libby Laguta (, and Kristin Ellingsen (KE Design & Office Furniture Group).