LAWRENCE — University of Kansas School of Architecture & Design architecture department chair Hui Cai has been named the HDC 10 Educator of the Year by Healthcare Design Magazine.
The HDC 10 professional awards program honors industry members across 10 categories. The program specifically recognizes the accomplishments of how individuals influenced projects and/or the industry for the better over the 12 months prior to nominations.
Cai, associate professor of architecture, also serves as associate director of the Institute of Health + Wellness Design and leads the Health + Wellness Design graduate certificate program.
Cai has taught several health care design lecture courses and studios at the undergraduate and graduate levels for a decade. She actively collaborates with industry partners, domain experts and peer institutions around the nation. Her teaching focuses on connecting students with real-world experience through critics, reviews and internships.
In 2020, Cai actively made contributions as a member of the professional health care design community. During the initial onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, she worked with KU and American Institute of Architects (AIA) colleagues on launching “ArchMap,” an online database and dashboard that documents the design and construction efforts on alternative care sites during COVID-19.
Cai led efforts to develop the survey instruments and database. ArchMap has proven to be a valuable tool to track and disseminate design knowledge worldwide in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“2020 was a year with unprecedented challenges due to the pandemic. However, it also highlighted the importance of health care facilities and healthy community on human health and wellness,” Cai said.
Cai is an active member in the health care design field and strives to advance health care design through three fronts: teaching, research and service in professional communities. Her teaching philosophy is to bridge design education, research and design practice using the evidence-based design approach.
As an educator, Cai has led more than 100 students through the KU Health + Wellness Design program, preparing them for professional life with a rigorous, data-driven and human-centered approach to health care design.
“This honor motivates me to continue pushing the envelope and exploring innovative health care design education to better prepare our students as the next generation of health care designers,” she said.