Meet Our Speakers

Susan Drew and Matthew A. Finn

Susan Drew

Market Segment Manager – Senior Living and Behavioral Mental Health for Altro Americas

Matthew A. Finn

AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, Founder Cognitive Design

Day 2 Panel Discussion:

The Substantial Home:
Exploring the practical application of commercial design strategies to create individualized health-promoting residential architecture

The places we create for ourselves and our loved ones are an enduring expression of our values and beliefs. Join us for a conversation about the applicability of strategies from commercial architecture and interiors to residential design. This session will begin with a brief overview of trends in commercial care facilities as well as methods for collaborating with psychologists, clinicians, and other professionals not typically involved in design. Attendees will then be invited to participate in an open discussion about possibility and the ways that commercial and residential design can learn from each other, including how to practically apply commercial strategies to residential design. The discussion will center on creative ways to create freedom of choice in residential design that facilitates health for individuals of all ages, abilities, and income levels to live a full and meaningful life, regardless of their health status.


Susan Drew
Born and raised in the Interior of British Columbia, Susan has almost 20 years’ experience in the flooring/walling industry.  In the past 7 years, she has collaborated with the A&D community and end user groups across North America bringing a wealth of knowledge to the unique challenges of the Behavioral Mental Health/Senior Care Environment.  Susan is passionate about discovering solutions in the built environment that can benefit residents of all ages and abilities.  Her desire is that everyone has the choice to be the best that they can be.



Matt is passionate about how the built environment influences human health. As a social entrepreneur and architect, Finn founded Cognitive Design in 2016 – a consulting and design firm that fuses architecture and health.

Finn grew up in Atlanta (proof that natives exist), where he works and resides with his wife, Stephanie, and their two daughters. After graduating from Kennesaw State University, he began his professional career at Perkins and Will, where he gained valuable experience delivering exceptional client service while working on complex architectural projects. Finn is known for asking the right questions and for maintaining continuity of thought from concept through design, documentation, and construction.

Matt’s interdisciplinary research and innovative thinking have been recognized by Healthcare Design magazine, who named Matt the 2016 HCD 10 Researcher. Additionally, Matt’s work has been featured by numerous academic institutions, media outlets, and conferences, including the U.S. Green Building Council, Academy of Neuroscience For Architecture, and the American Institute of Architects.



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