Page, a leading architecture and engineering design firm, named Ruben Zarate Jr. and Kimia Erfani as its 2024 Tradewell Fellows. Celebrating its 27th year, the Tradewell Fellowship program positions tomorrow’s healthcare planners and designers for rapid career advancement and leadership through immersive participation in healthcare design projects and the opportunity to explore a healthcare design research question in their area of interest.

Based in Page’s Dallas office, Ruben Zarate Jr. received a Master of Architecture degree from Texas A&M and a certificate in health systems and design. He is interested in how healthcare environments can heal their occupants through evidence-based design, and his Tradewell research project focuses on design in the outpatient environment. Zarate says, “The Tradewell Fellowship offers me the unique opportunity to pursue my passion for designing healthcare spaces that improve the wellbeing of users and allows me to join a rich history of fellows committed to mentoring and collaborating.”

Fellow Kimia Erfani, EDAC, who works in Page’s Los Angeles office, has a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a Master’s in human-environment relations from Cornell, and recently completed a Doctorate in Architecture from the University of Michigan. She is interested in the interplay between social technology and the built environment to enhance older adults’ social well-being and quality of life. “By embracing thought leadership and a commitment to design excellence, I will be able to leverage the power of ‘healing through design’ to advocate for people’s health as well as our planet’s health,” she says. Her Tradewell research project focuses on adopting the principles of trauma-informed design to enhance the mental health care of children/adolescents in spaces that can assist in early detection and treatment (i.e., educational settings).  

Commented Tradewell Fellowship lead curator Renee Fiala, AIA, ACHA, EDAC, a former Tradewell Fellow herself, “this amazing program is designed to amplify the fellows’ exposure and opportunities while allowing them to take a deep dive into a research topic, ultimately developing and strengthening our future leaders in healthcare design.”

Named in honor of the late Gary Tradewell, a former vice president and healthcare planner, the fellowship began in 1997. In addition to being guided by multiple firm mentors—including architects, senior medical planners, designers, and leaders in the field—Tradewell Fellows are included in healthcare projects from the initial planning stages, have direct contact with healthcare clients, and attend a national conference of their choice.