H01 - Healthy Designs for Healthy Minds

Friday, November 22 from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM | B208 « Back

Abstract Text:

This interactive learning session will explore how design can proactively foster a healthy mind by encouraging inclusion, social relationships, and freedom of choice. Design of spaces, both inside and outside, plays an essential role in easing the loneliness crisis – one of the most urgent, indiscriminate, and costly issues of our time. Why does it matter for designers, developers, and communities? It impacts graduation rates for youth, can help employee engagement, support thriving retail, and even improve quality of life for seniors at risk of social isolation. Social connections often make the difference for us to stay on our path to wellness.

This session will discuss innovative ideas from over a decade of research and practice to transform real estate into assets for social connections in the home, at work, and in our third places. We will share how to put new research to work in the integrative design process -- using various methods including collaborating with healthcare professionals, using design analytics, pre- and post-occupancy evaluations, and the Gehl Institute’s Public Life Toolkit -- to improve every day experiences and quality of life.

We will provide an accessible introduction and then explore real-world case studies from Denver, a UC Campus, Seattle, and Atlanta ranging in scale from district redevelopment to architecture and interior design. We will discuss the behavioral and mental health benefits of research-based design decisions considering spatial configurations, materiality, and design details in our built environment, including alignment with WELLv2 Mind category features.

Where and how we spend our time shapes us -- from social mixing with ‘familiar strangers’ in diverse populations, to inclusive common spaces at school and work, to creating community at the gym. We can choose to intentionally address healthy minds and a supportive environment to benefit all. This session is sponsored by IWBI

Learning Objectives:

Understand the relationship between mental health, social connections, and design

Learn how research and scientific literature can be used in a design setting

Identify space configurations and materials that can support healthy behaviors and mind

Understand how to use analytics tools and methods to support an integrative design process

Learning Level:





GBCI Credit Hours:
1.5 GBCI
AIA Credit Hours:
LEED Specific:
WELL Specific
Well/LEED Specific:
WELL Specific
IDCEC hours:

Education Tracks: Health and Wellbeing: Building for People

Event Type: Conference Session > Session