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Rethinking Design and Wellness During COVID-19

Catch up on last week’s Metropolis Forums Webinar, “Doubling Down on Wellness,” with insights on public health, social health, wellbeing, and sustainability.

Doubling Down on Wellness” was presented in partnership with DuPont Tedlar, Landscape Forms, and Teknion.

During the course of the discussion, the panelists referred to several articles and resources:

Lance Hosey, Design Director, Firmwide Design Resilience Co-Leader, and Principal, Gensler, recently co-authored an article with Rives Taylor titled “Redefining Wellness in the Face of Pandemic,” which lays out three different scales at which architects and designers can engage with the concept of health: Global Wellness, Social Wellness, and Personal Wellness. Hosey also authored the article “A Quiet Revolution: The Origins of Sustainable Design in the U.S.” in which he pointed out that human health and wellbeing was part of the initial conception of sustainability.

Amy Mays, Interior Design Director, HDR, was asked a question about where designers can easily find materials and products for healthy spaces. As she pointed out, there is a growing body of knowledge on this topic. Mindful Materials is a platform that lists environmental and health product declarations across a range of material and product categories. WELL v.2, which is currently in pilot phase, has introduced a Materials concept to offer a comprehensive approach. The Healthy Materials Lab at Parsons School for Design offers online certification courses, and has recently launched a podcast called Trace Material that offers a deep dive into materials that can support good health.

Erin Peavey, Architect and Design Researcher, HKS, has spearheaded an effort to connect social health and design. Her report “Connecting IRL: How the Built Environment Can Foster Social Health” is an excellent starting point for anyone interested in the topic. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she has penned two articles, “Can Design Help Overcome Loneliness,” and “Canceling the Social Recession: Guarding Against Loneliness While Social Distancing.



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