NAME: Evangelia Chrysikou
BACKGROUND: PhD holder
ORGANIZATION: Q SynThesis Architects
My Background and Career
I am an architect and medical planner, among the few architects globally holding a PhD on healthcare architecture. I graduated from the architectural school of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH) and immediately after conducted research together with the Prof of Psychiatry Dr Kandylis. I studied Healthcare Buildings Planning Management and Design at Medical Architecture Research Unit (MARU), London South Bank University (LSBU). For my PhD at the Bartlett School of Graduate Studies, University College London (UCL) I received a scholarship from Alexander S Onassis Public Benefit Foundation.
I founded SynThesis Architects, an architectural and research practice at Athens and recently SynThesis expanded to London. SynThesis incorporates research findings into the design of healthcare buildings, workspaces and residences. Additionally, I teach to international universities such as the Medical School of Democritus University (DUTH) at the postgraduate course of Hygiene and Safety and I am the Briefing and Evaluation module co-ordinator for the MSc Planning Buildings for Health at MARU LSBU. I publish in architectural and healthcare scientific journals. I am also a member of architectural and medical associations and committees such as the Technical Chamber of Greece. My architectural and research work on therapeutic environments has received international distinctions and awards including the Highly Commented Award for Best Research Project at the 2012 International Academy for Design and Health Awards in Kuala Lumpur.
Which kind of problems did you have to overcome to be where you are today?
Financial: Initial funding difficulties; clients, the state in particular, delay payments
Family: Absence from home, work at home, cancellations or disruptions
Personal Health problems
Social: undervaluing my work in Greece (not abroad) so that I would be less demanding
Discrimination due to my place of origin (I come from a provincial town.)
What did help you the best in your trajectory? Deciding factors of success
Family, Education and training and my character.
Among my competences, I am able to learn and put into practice new information in my work, I know and I use the required techniques to do a good job, I am a good communicator. I like partnership building. My own personal development through my work is important. The personal development of people working with me is important, I like to negotiate and that everybody end up satisfied, I solve problems and I find solutions, I am able to quickly make up my mind. I don’t hesitate to ask for advices and I am able to use other people’s experience and advice. Among my qualities, I am very ambitious, shy, independent, persistent, fast, innovative, tense , creative open-minded, chaotic and bossy
Hints & Tips
My inspiration was my mentors.
My suggestion to give to women for them to reach their goals:
They should try and achieve their targets abroad where rules and regulations are much fairer. Professional knowledge is never enough. They should keep expanding it, which is a powerful tool and will help them put forward very strong arguments.
About entrepreneurship, I believe the assets to be developed are sociability and communication skills, knowledge, good sense and professional specialisation and the weaknesses to overcome are the lack of meritocracy, the bureaucracy, the state unreliability, the low-level training of the workforce, the very poor standard of the Greek universities, the lack of innovation and research. I believe that we have no application of research findings and no development of the best qualified staff