Contemporary architecture and urban planning seem to address uncritically the conditions and context in which this discourse on health is developing. In most cases, the design disciplines rely on an abstract, scientific notion of health, and very literally adopt concepts such as “population,” “community,” “citizen,” “nature,” “green,” “development,” “city” and “body” into a professionalized, disciplinary discourse that simply echoes the ambiguities characteristic of current debate. — Places Journal
In its latest exhibition and book, Imperfect Health, the Canadian Centre for Architecture critiques what curators Mirko Zardini and Giovanna Borasi call a “new moralistic philosophy: healthism.” Zardini and Borasi trace the long relationship of environmental design to shifting social and political concepts of well-being, from 19th-century urban parks to 20th-century sanatoria to the "healthy buildings" of today. And they ask: would it be possible to “demedicalize” architecture — to replace the prescriptive solutions of “cure” with the more expansive goals of “care”?