Get to know the accomplished individuals who will present at the TEDxGreenville conference on April 8th! In this series, writer Jennifer Oladipo asks some compelling questions.
With a 22-year career building diverse types of healthcare facilities, William Schlein is an architect who considers himself a healthcare provider.
I have been involved for many years in the healthcare architecture profession at national and regional levels, so I wanted to be involved at the local level too.
How does your work or art affect the way you see yourself?
I chose healthcare architecture because I wanted to design buildings that mattered. So, I see myself as not only an architect, but a caregiver in a sense. I help patients, families and staff in hospitals through my work, yet they never see me, they only experience the space – with positive results, I hope.
What’s a quick fix to make a personal or public space healthier?
Access to nature – whether it is a view to the trees, or an indoor/outdoor space, a fountain, or simply opening a window to let the sounds and smells in – scientific evidence proves that nature makes us feel good. Let architecture work with nature to help you feel great!
What was the last idea, big or small, that you thought was an idea worth sharing?
I read an article this week on the world’s fastest downhill skier, Simone Origone. He has dedicated his life to his sport, which pays little and is not an Olympic sport. He uses wind tunnel testing, skin tight suits with airfoils, and specialized helmets, poles and skis. The idea that appealed to me is that his passion is supported by design. Pininfarina, the world’s most famous car and industrial design house (think Ferrari and those cool new Coke machines) works with Origone in the wind tunnel to fine tune his form and equipment. That is design thinking so that a person can be their best – at over 150 miles per hour – on skis.
What is your favorite TED talk and why?
Well, that is like picking your favorite song. It varies based on what I am working on or thinking about that day. Sometimes while writing a proposal, preparing for a project interview, or working on a design, I will watch a TED talk for insight into an aspect of business, or artistic inspiration, or public speaking.
Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration from other architects whose work I admire. I love to experience their buildings, or see their drawings to see how they solved problems, and created functionality and beauty for their clients. I also find inspiration in nature when I am fishing or scuba diving. I have always loved rivers, lakes and the ocean. I spend as much time as I can in these watery environments. I like to see the fish, underwater creatures and plants, birds, trees, marshes, landscape, and all of the surroundings that make a water environment so fascinating. The smells and sounds are great too. I think this inspires architecture as well. How can we get to that same feeling of inspiration and alive-ness in our buildings, whether it is a hospital, a school, an office or our home? After all, humans are natural creatures too.
What is the next frontier for the human race?
I am eager to see what can be explored and discovered in the oceans – we are still learning about shark migration (including in Charleston Harbor!) or bonefish wintering locations, and much remains undiscovered in the deepest parts of the ocean.
As a world of people, I think we need to conquer the frontiers of acceptance and co-existence. Just in my kids’ lifetimes, there has been a lot of death and destruction because of differences of ideology. For all children’s sake, let’s teach them how to get along and live together peacefully. The world is getting smaller. Also for our children, I hope society and science can conquer the frontier of climate change.
For more information about Kaleidoscope speakers and performers, visit our 2016 presenter page, where extended bios are available. The April 8th event is sold out, but watch for details about our free live feed.