Q&A Nov 24, 2022

Why Engaging with Stakeholders is so Rewarding: A Q&A with Emma Termont-Schenk

Health Infrastructure Q&A with Emma Termont-Schenk Associate Architect - Health, Australia

In this Q&A we catch up with Jacobs’ lead health planner on the New Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Adelaide, ahead of the Australasian Health Design Conference in Melbourne.

Let's talk with Emma:

Tell us what you're working on these days.

I’m leading the Jacobs health planning team working on the New Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Adelaide, South Australia a project we’re delivering in partnership with Woods Bagot, Bates Smart and BDP.

What led you to a specialty in healthcare design?

I’ve always had an affinity with the sciences and a love of design and detail which originally led me to highly technical projects in the higher education sector, specifically research and teaching laboratory projects. About seven years ago an opportunity arose to join a practice that specialized in healthcare. I found my skills transferred over well and from there, well, there has been no looking back!

How does what you do contribute to improved health outcomes for communities?

It has been well researched and documented that good design contributes to positive health outcomes. Around Australia many government architects have published, or are in the process of publishing, design guides and papers highlighting the role that considered design processes have in creating good architecture.

Impacts to health outcomes are measurable — both quantitively and qualitatively — be it through reduced number of days staying in hospital or through positive work culture and atmosphere for the staff. Hospitals touch the lives of many people, so it is a place that architecture and good design can have a big impact on our society.

What is the biggest trend you’re seeing in healthcare design right now and how does this impact what you do?

It’s hard to overlook the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our healthcare system. From a design perspective, implementing the ongoing “lessons learned” from this event is something that is at the fore on most every project. Interestingly, I think that this trend has also highlighted the role of good design in healthcare settings — as a positive contributor towards staff mental wellbeing in particular.

Name one critical success factor for any healthcare design project.

Cooperation. Healthcare projects are complex and not delivered by one person alone. Positive and collaborative engagement at all levels and across all sectors of involvement (client, design team and stakeholders) is key to achieving the best result for a project.

What is your favorite part of your job?

Engaging with end-users. For me architecture is nothing without people. The process of engaging with users is so rewarding as it not only opens my eyes up to their world as the people who will eventually inhabit the space we are creating, but also allows for opportunity to make positive impact to their understanding of the building that they will be working/ living/ spending time in.

“For me architecture is nothing without people.”

Emma Termont-Schenk

Emma Termont-Schenk

Jacobs Associate Architect - Health, Australia

What has been your most interesting/proudest career moment to date?

I’m not sure I have just one! There’s big items like receiving a national architecture award for an educational project that I delivered. There’s the successful design and delivery of numerous projects over a nearly 20-year career, and then there is the heartfelt thanks of the client or the end user.

When you aren’t working, what would we be most likely to find you doing?

Enjoying time with my young family. We spend a lot of time at the beach, in our garden growing produce and creating (art, craft, cooking, etc.).

What does our tagline “Challenging Today. Reinventing Tomorrow” mean to you?

To me the tagline is all about asking the questions that challenge the accepted, to create an outcome that is better.

What do you enjoy most about being part of #OurJacobs?

Being part of a worldwide network of professionals who I can connect with. This creates amazing opportunities to draw upon an immense amount of collective knowledge when facing a new project challenge.

About the interviewee

Emma Termont-Schenk

Emma Termont-Schenk is a senior architect with significant experience in the design and delivery of complex healthcare, educational and institutional (laboratory focus) projects. She has a passion for designing spaces that are contextually respectful of the environment in which they exist.  Emma is currently leading the Jacobs health planning team working on the New Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Adelaide, South Australia a project we’re delivering in partnership with Woods Bagot, Bates Smart and BDP.

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