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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

Seattle Children’s mission is to provide hope, care and cures to help every child live the healthiest and most fulfilling life possible. Together, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Research Institute and Foundation deliver superior patient care, identify new discoveries and treatments through pediatric research, and raise funds to create better futures for patients.

Ranked as one of the top children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Seattle Children’s serves as the pediatric and adolescent academic medical center for Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho – the largest region of any children’s hospital in the country. As one of the nation's top five pediatric research centers, Seattle Children’s Research Institute is internationally recognized for its work in neurosciences, immunology, cancer, infectious disease, injury prevention and much more. Seattle Children’s Hospital and Research Foundation works with the Seattle Children’s Guild Association, the largest all-volunteer fundraising network for any hospital in the country, to gather community support and raise funds for uncompensated care and research.

For more information, visit seattlechildrens.org or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or on our On the Pulse blog.