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Face Time: Angela Crum At CallisonRTKL – HCD Magazine

Face Time: Angela Crum At CallisonRTKL – HCD Magazine

angela crum

What drew you to a career in healthcare interior design?

I accepted a position with CRTKL’s mixed-use/residential studio prior to graduating but was asked to transition to its busy healthcare studio. I thought it would be a good learning experience for a couple of years, but it has turned into a career that I’m very passionate about. The ability to create solutions with our clients that improve the efficiency and well-being of healthcare professionals as well as the lives of patients and their loved ones provides a purpose in my professional life that is unparalleled.

What was your first healthcare project in your career?

It was the Bishops Building for St. Francis Hospital South in Tulsa, Okla. This project, which was awarded as the first LEED Gold medical office building in Tulsa, featured a large-scale art installation that I designed and detailed. It was inspired by the journals of Lewis and Clark and the local flora and fauna. I layered my own analog hand sketches with digital text in multiple opacities to reflect the transparency of ink-filled pages, which come to  life as three large-scale hand-blown glass flowers unfold.

What lessons from that project do you carry with you today?

In school, our project reviews were structured and formal. You presented your entire project from start to finish and then received critical feedback about your work from a series of jurors. I quickly learned that school presentations are nothing like the real world. They’re much more conversational. I also realized that clients are not designers and are intrigued (and sometimes frustrated) by the creativity of the design process, so it’s important to concisely talk through your work, pause frequently, and be authentic.

Three healthcare projects you’ve worked on in the year and your role

1 Main Line Health, Bryn Mawr Hospital Behavioral Health Unit, Bryn Mawr, Pa., lead designer and lead construction administrator.

Bryn Mawr Behavorial Health


2 St. Francis Health, Warren Clinic, Owasso, Okla., lead interior designer.

3 Main Line Health, Riddle Hospital Pavilion, Media, Pa., lead interior designer.


On interior design trends

Thumbs up: The focus on staff well-being post pandemic is prioritizing the need for more “multipurpose rooms” that are easily accessible for staff and can be used for personal respite or to support new well-being initiatives such as one-on-one peer coaching. It’s great to see health systems investing in environments that don’t directly make revenue but do impact the bottom line.

Thumbs down: Disposable cubicle curtains. I understand their purpose for infection prevention but they create unnecessary medical waste and are clinical looking. There are more sophisticated ways to design around patient privacy and, if curtains are needed, there are fabric options that have easier methods for removal to support more frequent replacement.

An unexpected item on your desk

A miniature replica of a Spanish fighting bull. It was a parting gift from a CRTKL colleague when she moved away and makes me smile with its horns, furry black body, and pipe cleaner tail.


Outside the office, we’ll likely find you …

At home with our two girls and pup working on our 1955 house and garden beds or at our ranch property


You also have a creative collaboration blog, Crum-made, with your husband. How did that start?

My husband Rickey and I share an affinity for creative outlets and tend to say, ”We could make that.” So we decided to start documenting our hobbies, including flint knapping, jewelry design, furniture reupholstery, and home renovations. Our current design-build endeavor is a small, off-the-grid cabin for our ranch.

What’s a new habit you’ve picked up since the pandemic began?

We moved our Adirondack chairs to the front yard so that we could wave to all our neighbors who walked by daily. (I have taken quite a few conference calls from the front yard too.) We met so many new people who had lived in the area for years. It even sparked us to host a block party last year, which is now becoming an annual event. We feel so much more engaged with our local community.

Morning person or night owl?

Night owl.

How did you make your first dollar?

My mom was a teacher, and we spent many summers in her classroom, so I mastered the lamination machine and started designing and installing bulletin boards for other teachers

Your go-to karaoke song?

“Why Haven’t I Heard From You,” by Reba McEntire

First album you ever bought.

Shania Twain’s “The Woman In Me,” which featured “Any Man of Mine”—a classic.

Cocktail of choice?

A good margarita on ice or Community Mosaic IPA (a local craft brew).

Your hidden talent?

I took baton lessons as a child. I wouldn’t say I am a baton twirling pro, but I have a few impressive moves.

If you weren’t an interior designer, you would be …

An archeologist. Many of my hobbies involve hunting for artifacts (arrowheads, fossils, shark teeth) in fields or creeks.

You have an irrational fear of …

Heights, and it’s getting worse the older I get. I used to be pretty fearless and now standing near the glass on upper high-rise floors or the roofs of my own projects is enough to make me uncomfortable.

Favorite …

Quote “There’s always room for Jell-O.” Joey Tribbiani on “Friends” (or so says my Facebook profile from almost 20 years ago).

Movie character Will Ferrell in “Elf.”

Show to binge watch “New Girl.” This show always makes me laugh. I especially relate to Jessica’s character who makes up the most ridiculous songs in everyday conversation.

Weekend activity Going to Lake Ray Hubbard near our house or on our ranch property to spend some time in nature.

Lake Ray Hubbard

Guilty pleasure Reality TV shows.

Snack when you travel Beef jerky.

Sport Fishing and college football.

Team My alma matter, the University of Texas Longhorns.

Book “The Great Divorce,” by C.S. Lewis.

City to visit Spearfish Canyon, S.D. It’s a hidden gem.

Spearfish Canyon