Josh Ripplinger Wold MNHC

Focal Point: Josh Ripplinger, AIA, ACHE, EDAC, LEED AP

Josh Ripplinger, AIA, ACHE, EDAC, LEED AP, is a partner and healthcare planner at Wold. His passion for design started when he was a kid working and playing on his grandparents’ farm, designing and building forts. He has channeled that passion in the years since collaboratively partnering with our clients to create healthcare facilities that integrate into the fabric of the communities that they serve. As a cancer survivor, Josh understands the complexities and emotions associated with planning and designing highly functional healthcare environments that are sensitive to the needs of the patient.

Josh’s healthcare design philosophy

Josh believes his success is largely due to the deep relationships he develops with his clients and their community members. Fostering relationships has allowed Josh and his team to work with a diverse range of clients to design and meaningful experiences that embody their values.

“The more we live life and experience our world, the more able we are to shape it through our designs by collaboratively integrating all of our experiences in the design process.”

How does your experience with cancer inform your design perspective?
My experience with cancer happened at a unique time in my life. I had just finished school the year before and my mind was still very open to learning, but I was also experiencing planning and designing projects that were being built and I was beginning to better understand how we create environments for people to interact with each day. Those two frames of reference left my mind very open to learn a tremendous amount from being a patient going from a primary care visit to discuss the symptoms, to a specialist for my eventual diagnosis, to surgery for a biopsy and removal of my lymph nodes, to chemotherapy, to radiation therapy and forging a lifelong connection with my oncologist.

“The complete experience of the patient journey provides me with empathy and insight into the mind of the patients our healthcare spaces serve and an understanding of the importance of how the spaces we design need to support the experience desired by the organization, providers, care teams and the patient and their families.”

In addition to your leadership role at Wold, we know you’re a leader in the industry. Tell us about those involvements.
Outside of the office, I volunteer with the ACE (Architecture Construction Engineering) Mentor Program of America, which is an organization whose mission is toengage, excite, and enlighten high school students to pursue careers in architecture, engineering, and construction through mentoring and continued support for their advancement into the industry. I also serve as a mentor and board member of the ACHE-MN (American College of Healthcare Executives- Minnesota, a forum for professional development and interchange among senior-level healthcare executives.

When you’re not working, what can we find you doing?

I’ve been married to my high school sweetheart, Coral, for 22 years. We have two wonderful yet sassy children, Samuel (15) and Matilyn (13). We moved back to our hometown in 2015 and enjoy watching all of our kids sporting events, watersports, and traveling to see family and visit warm weather destinations throughout the world. When we are home, I enjoy movies a lot and have watched over 1,500 movies in my life!

If you weren't an architect what would you be doing?

My alternate career path has always been marine biology. I am fascinated with the study of life in our oceans, and my bucket list consists of scuba diving with a whale shark, shark cage-diving with a great white and completing the liveaboard trip to the Galapagos Islands.

What is a fun fact about yourself?

I attended Lakeville High School (now Lakeville North High School), which is a Wold-designed school!

What are three words that describe yourself?

The first three words that come to mind are energetic, communicative and resourceful.

What type of music do you listen to in the office?

I enjoy all kinds of music and have playlists dedicated to The Beatles, pop, R&B, rap, rock, classic rock, and country. I also love movie soundtracks as a movie cannot be great without one.

Our Focal Point series provides a behind-the-scenes look at the talented team members who bring our work to life. Read previous focal points on Alison Andrews and Ryan Downs.

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