Design for Health – Launch


Launch and roundtable forum

Design for Health – Launch

by Raymond Smith, March 2022

The International Union of Architects, with the full support of WHO – World Health Organization, launched the year of 2022 as the Year of Design for Health.

2022 UIA Design for Health online launch webinar

I attended the online webinar launch on 4 February and herewith a brief overview of what it is all about and my impression of it.

What makes the case studies presented remarkable is that they are all based on scientific evidence. This is indeed important as it provides statistical examples for practitioners that was gathered over many decades of studies for the use of everyone concerned with the built human environment and health.

Herewith an introduction of the speakers and their topics which will be discussed over the next few months.

Opening address

Jose Lus Cortes, the president of UIA delivered a brief opening address and welcoming with the main message being: “Design to protect health, develop health and restore health through design”. He promised to use UIA resources to launch an open-access digital information hub on designing for improving health, benefiting all nations; and to establish an international research agenda to advance the goals of designing for health.

Richard J Jackson MD MPH

The first introductory presentation was made by Richard J Jackson MD MPH, Professor emeritus UCLA Fielding School of Public Health Lecturer, UC Berkley SPH. He spoke about the “Importance of Leadership by the World Health Organization” and quoted an excerpt from the 1948 constitution of the World Health organization: “A state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

Dr Thiago Herick de Sa

The second keynote presentation was by Dr Thiago Herick de Sa, Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health, WHO-HQ. He spoke about “Integrating health into urban and territorial planning”.

Suzanne de Laval & Heba Safey Eldeen

The third presentation was by Suzanne de Laval (Sweden) and Heba Safey Eldeen (Egypt), Co-Directors of UIA Architecture & Children Work Programme. Their contributions were on architecture and children.

Kassim Muamba Omar

The fourth speaker, Kassim Muamba Omar representing Heritage at UIA, gave a fascinating talk on how “Places look after people as much as people look after places”, “The potential of cultural heritage as well-being producers”.

Jorge Marsino & Lawrence Tak-yin Leung

The fifth blog will be about the creative architectural design work of Jorge Marsino and Lawrence Tak-yin Leung, both directors of UIA Work Programme on “Education & Cultural Spaces”.

René Kural

The sixth talk will be about “Design for Health: Examples from Copenhagen” by René Kural, PhD, Associate Professor, Architect MAA, Director of UIA Sports and Leisure Work Programme.

Dr Cristina Vert Roca

The seventh speaker, Dr Cristina Vert Roca, introduced critical source material for “Integrating health in urban and territorial planning: a sourcebook” and other publisised tools such as “A Commentary on Nature-Culture Keywords” by ICOMOS, IUCN & The Christensen Fund and “Cultural Heritage and Climate Action” by ICOMOS Scientific Council.

A very big thanks to UIA, WHO and the panel! Well done indeed. We are all indebted to your dedication to improve the state of health in the built environment world-wide.