Network Updates / Worldwide / 2022-02-03

Webinar: 2022: Year of design for health:
The International Union of Architects has designated 2022 as the Year of Design for Health.

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The International Union of Architects has designated 2022 as the Year of Design for Health. Spearheaded by the UIA Public Health Group and supported by the World Health Organization, this initiative seeks to emphasise design that protects health, design that develops better health, and design that restores health when it is impaired.  Additionally, this three-fold design emphasis embraces the one health model that acknowledges the interconnectedness of human, animal, and environmental (natural and built) health.

Join us 4 February for a Round Table Forum and Launch of 2022: UIA Year of Design for Health.

Our panel of experts will discuss how the role of design (architecture, urban planning and related fields) in protecting, promoting and restoring health. Don’t miss presentations focusing on accessibility, children, heritage, culture and social habitat.


Read the speakers’ bios

Register here


Richard Jackson, Professor emeritus of Public Health at UCLA: Every day those who care for the sick confront pain and distress.  Often political, global, and environmental issues feel remote and unrelated to their work.  Yet, the medical care system consumes immense wealth, materials, and human resources. For example, in the United States, it accounts for 18% of the GDP, 10% of its workforce, and 8% of its carbon footprint, at the same time failing to improve overall health.  In this session, Jackson will summarize efforts by US health leaders to reduce future harms by improving training, changing buildings and supply chains, while at the same time improving care.

Thiago Hérick de Sá (Healthy Urban Environments, Transport and Health. Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health (HQ/ECH). World Health Organization) will focus on the role of urban design and planning to protect and promote human and planetary health. It will examine this unique opportunity window for concerted action able to efficiently address some of today’s pressing agendas: climate change, environmental degradation, demographic and epidemiological transitions, poor urban living, global pandemics… It will also focus on the need for a systemic response to ensure healthy and sustainable ways of living for all. Finally, the presentation will discuss the prominent role and responsibility in this response of our broad health community, which goes beyond health professionals and includes architects, urban planners and urban leaders.


Presentations by UIA Work Programmes  

Allen Kong, Co-Director of the UIA Architecture for All Work Programme will highlight the importance of being inclusive and supportive of people and communities. They will address how architecture, environment, social connection and mutual responsibility are integral parts of a health system. Covid-19 has forced society to recognise the importance of social connections and an inclusive environment in addition to introducing a discussion about how different regions have responded to the need for accessibility at different levels. 

Suzanne de Laval and Heba Safey Eldeen, Co-Directors of the Architecture and Children Work Programme will emphasise the importance of design of both indoor and outdoor school environments that not only elevate children’s learning capacity, but also promote their physical and mental health. It will showcase three evidence-based examples from ‘Research’, ‘Hands on practices’ and the ‘Golden Cubes Awards winners’.

Mohammad Habib Reza and Kassim Mwamba Omar, Co-Directors of the UIA Heritage and Cultural Identity Work Programme will highlight the multifaceted roles played by heritage and culture in the health care and well-being of society. They will discuss the significant relationship between heritage and human satisfaction and how the creation of an environment that holistically supports physical, mental, emotional, social, cultural, spiritual and economic needs enables the full realisation of the human potential fundamental to intergenerational wellbeing.

Philippe Capelier, Director of the UIA Social Habitat Work Programme will highlight the impact of Covid-19 on social housing in addition to discussing the fundamental problems linked to the lack of quality public spaces and limited access to services. He will present the health problems created by the Covid-19 pandemic as well as the design solution and requirements for the definition of the minimum quantitative standards for dwellings and outdoor spaces.

Jorge Marsino Prado and Lawrence Leung, Co-Directors of the UIA Educational and Cultural Spaces Work Programme will discuss the role of schools as promoters of public health and as spaces for social integration and community life. They will present 3 examples of how design intervention can transform educational spaces into effective instruments of inclusion and sustainability, demonstrating how education can promote awareness of health and wellbeing.

René Kural, Director of the UIA Sports & Leisure Work Programme will present examples of how intelligent urban planning can make citizens choose the bike over the car. He will quote various examples from Denmark to demonstrate how architects and city planners can be catalysts for positive change. Inspired by the English architect Cedric Price, one could say “Like medicine, urban planning must move from the curative to the preventive!”