In the nearly half-century since joining the Texas A&M design faculty, George J. Mann has led more than 700 healthcare facility design projects; many of his former students are now principals at some of the world’s leading design firms, helping shape the direction of healthcare facility design.
His decades of accomplishments in healthcare design education were recognized July 12, 2014 with the Lifetime Leadership Award from the International Academy for Design and Health at its annual convention in Toronto.
Mann, holder of the Ronald L. Skaggs Professorship in Health Facilities Design, was chosen for the award by an interdisciplinary jury of experts from four continents looking to honor leaders and visionaries who have shown an outstanding, lifelong commitment to healthcare design.
“He has had a strong impact on the healthcare of this world,” said Skaggs, chairman emeritus of HKS Inc.
Each semester, Mann leads Texas A&M’s Architecture-For-Health studio, offered as part of the graduate and undergraduate curricula by the Department of Architecture. He also organizes the studio’s accompanying lecture series, which features weekly presentations from the United States’ leading healthcare administrators and facility designers.
Over the years, Mann’s students have designed a teaching ophthalmological hospital onboard an airplane, collaborated with design students in China and Oklahoma to design an eye hospital for a site in China, designed a Brazos Valley medical examiners’ office, a health training and agriculture facility in southern Sudan, a hospital in Tanzania, and many, many others.
Mann has also helped improve global health by cofounding the Global University Programs in Healthcare Architecture, which promotes professional architecture-for-health higher education programs and disseminates the programs’ research findings to the health design industry.
He was also the first United States resident elected to direct the International Union of Architects’ Public Health Group, which advocates heightened patient care, improved health care access and availability and quality, affordable health facilities throughout the world.
In 2003, Mann was recognized for his teaching with the 2003 George Bush Faculty Excellence in Public Service Award.
“His studios have earned him, his students and Texas A&M a sterling international reputation for excellence in architecture for health design and notable altruistic endeavors,” said Tom Regan, then the dean of the College of Architecture, in a nomination letter for the award.
Mann hopes to continue turning students into the future leaders of the healthcare design field.
“As long as I’m able to, and as long as they’ll have me, I’d like to continue, because a lot needs to be done,” said Mann. “We’re going to go from 7 billion to 10 or 11 billion people by midcentury. There are so many deficiencies. Wherever you throw a dart, there’s a need for improved healthcare facilities.”