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    Design for Human Health During COVID-19

    By thebacboston
    Apr 27, '20 4:14 PM EST
    The Masters of Design Studies in Design for Human Health (DHH) program at the Boston Architectural College is uniquely poised to leverage design’s powers to transform the built environment and public health, especially now, at this time of increasing awareness of this connection. 

    “DHH was established in 2014 to create design leaders who view society's problems through the trifecta lenses of physical/biological; sociological and psychological/emotional knowledge. Students arrive from an array of backgrounds with a shared vision of informing design with a deep understanding of the multifaceted combinations prevalent in modern life. A complex combination of factors influence our environments, many times in ways that are unseen by the untrained person. DHH prides its ability to garner evidence-based design in meaningful and practice-based ways,” shared Davis Harte, Thesis Faculty and Program Advisor Design for Human Health.

    A recent DHH student, Alexander Gordon, created a design solution to address the impact of the coronavirus in an aesthetically appealing and meaningful way: hand-sanitizing stations located outside of Las Vegas casinos. 

    DHH alumni are leaders in the design-health-wellbeing field, serving as members of the International WELL Building Institute’s Task Force on COVID-19 and other Respiratory Infections: Prevention and Preparedness, as well as host of a new podcast, Inclusive Designers, which addresses topics such as how to prepare schools for children and youth’s reemergence into these spaces, from a trauma-informed point of view. 

    Dax Morton, Online Master of Architecture student, shares sketches from his sketch note excerpts from two lessons covered in Professor Harte’s Environmental Psychology course. “The first is from an early lesson covering the foundational theories of environmental psychology, including human-environment theories and the role these play in design. The second is from a later lesson discussing perception, and how people intake and process certain sensory stimuli,” Morton stated.

    “We are all being tested in different ways by the trying circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Our responses to these immediate challenges, however, must be supported by enduring principles of design and design thinking that foster good health and wellbeing.  Teaching those principles is at the core of the Design for Human Health program,” shared Don Hunsicker, Dean and Faculty, School of Design Studies.


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