The Harrison File Featured

7:00pm EDT December 26, 2009

Born: Lugano, Switzerland. My parents were living over there. My father was working over there, but they were both Americans.

Education: Harvard College for undergrad and Harvard Graduate School

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

An orthopedic surgeon. I liked skiing, and I thought I could live in a ski area and I could fix people’s broken bones because that happened a lot during skiing. I grew up in the ’70s in the Northeast, and skiing was very popular, and a lot of people broke their legs, so I wanted to tie all those things together. Now I live in the South and I don’t ski much anymore and I’m not a doctor. Go figure.

What’s your favorite project you’ve worked on?

That’s a tough one. My role now, I don’t really touch the design so much as I did 10 or 12 years ago, but right now my favorite project is the headquarters we did for the Haworth Co., which opened a year and a half ago, and I was involved in that project from a leadership standpoint. I like what it embodies. It was a very responsible project from a cost standpoint, but it’s also a very inspiring project visually, and it combines architectural design, interior design, corporate strategy, graphic design all into a single project that sort of clicked to me.

In terms of projects I was literally drawing on the boards, I guess it would be a hospital project that I did in Sebring, Fla., that opened in 1997 called Heartland Medical Center. It was just a labor of love. I spent a lot of time on it — four or five years — so I guess it was just a milestone sort of project for me. It was the largest sort of project that I started at the very beginning and stopped working at the very end of the project. Because a project like that can last four or five years, you don’t get to do that many projects in your career, especially if you end up like me in management and don’t work on projects very much anymore.