September 11, 2015

Chau Tran says he didn’t choose healthcare design — healthcare design chose him. He had never really liked healthcare or hospital design; he thought it was dry and uninteresting. He then received a fellowship to Singapore University in healthcare studies and decided to make the most of it and try to learn something. The rest, as they say, is history. 

Tran says what he loves most about healthcare design is the human connection. He sees it as a compassionate thing. Architecture is just architecture, but healthcare architecture thinks about the patient. It directly impacts people’s lives. That’s why he feels honored to be selected as the HKS Healthcare Fellow for 2015-2016. He believes strongly in research, so the fellowship fits right in with what he wants to do. 

Tran also has personal reasons for wanting to be involved in improving healthcare design. Back in Vietnam, he visited his sick aunt in the hospital. There were eight patients in one room and two patients to each bed. That memory stayed with him and is one of the drivers behind his passion for great healthcare design. He thinks about going back to Vietnam, at some point, to help improve the state of healthcare facilities in his home country. 

Tran’s fellowship focus will be on researching mindfulness and compassion in architecture. 

He received his undergraduate degree from Ho Chi Min City University of Architecture in Vietnam and received a full scholarship to study healthcare architecture at Clemson University, where he graduated in May 2015. 

The HKS Healthcare Fellowship is a one-year program created to recognize and encourage aspiring, talented recent graduates committed to improving the built healthcare environment through projects, as well as conducting a healthcare-specific study on a topic of interest.  

HKS, Inc., is ranked among the top healthcare architectural firms in the world by Modern Healthcare and BD World Architecture. Operating from 27 offices worldwide, HKS focuses on innovative healthcare design, process and delivery. The firm’s award-winning healthcare architecture includes 2,000 unique projects representing 80,000 beds and 184 million square feet. HKS projects have garnered numerous awards and coverage in worldwide publications. The firm’s healthcare specialists are highly respected international speakers. 

For more information, contact Sherri Smith at

Posted in Health