Designing New Foundations for Public Health

Designing New Foundations for Public Health

Source: Huffington Post

Good design can play a central role in addressing today's complex health challenges. At the most obvious level, you might find the examples self-evident, even simplistic: using stairs rather than elevators offers compound benefits for building occupants and for the environment, transferring needed kinetic energy from externally supplied electrical systems to our own skeleto-muscular systems. Today, architects and public health officials are working together on additional design benefits. Here are just a few such collaborations from across the country that highlight how design can help create active, connected, toxin-free and equitable spaces for the 21st century: The recently completed Seattle Children's "Building Hope" expansion designed by ZGF Associates LLP, integrates biophilia as a central design strategy. Biophilia, or the love of life or living systems, initially coined by the German social psychologist Erich Fromm in 1964, describes the human attraction to all things living and vital. At Seattle Children's Hospital, biophillic design elements play a crucial role, introducing a sense of whimsy for children and their visitors and enhancing the interiors.

About Seattle Children’s

Consistently ranked as one of the best children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Seattle Children’s serves as the pediatric and adolescent academic medical referral center for the largest landmass of any children’s hospital in the country (Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho). For more than 100 years, Seattle Children’s has been delivering superior patient care while advancing new treatments through pediatric research. Seattle Children’s serves as the primary teaching, clinical and research site for the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine. The hospital works in partnership with Seattle Children’s Research Institute and Seattle Children’s Hospital Foundation. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.