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Architecture and design for healthcare

The Health Talks @ Aalto event discusses how design and architecture can be used to benefit different patient groups.
Health Talks @ Aalto

On 11 December 2019, the Health and Wellbeing Architecture group from the Aalto School of Arts, Design, and Architecture hosted the year’s seventh Health Talks @ Aalto event.

Professor Laura Arpiainen welcomed everyone and introduced SOTERA, the research group for health and wellbeing at the Department of Architecture. Researcher Ira Verma was the first speaker and talked about the topic of universal design and how it enhances the wellbeing of all. Insightful examples included details from the everyday life of seniors, many also discussed in her dissertation Housing Design for All. Dr. Verma also invited all present to the upcoming Universal Design Conference at Aalto University in June 2020.

Professor Tuuli Mattelmäki, head of the Department of Design at the School of Arts, Design, and Architecture, talked about service design for wellbeing. Through student projects, she demonstrated methods for experimenting, challenging the existing, and co-creation, arriving at design partnerships with the users. Example projects included a design game to plan for pediatric healthcare in Helsinki and a project where elementary-school children were empowered to create physical designs at school to increase their wellbeing.

Professor Arpiainen discussed latest trends in design for memory care. Using a Canadian dementia village as an example, her presentation touched on the many ways in which architectural design, interior design, landscape design, and for example lighting design can support the wellbeing, independence, and dignity of residents with even severe memory decline. The facilities are secure, but have large outdoor areas and commercial services within the compound – the Canadian example even had a small vegetable farm complete with a picnic spot.  

The possibility of a dementia village in Finland was discussed after the presentations. While there certainly is interest at the moment, time will tell if implementation will prove feasible.

Information about Health Talks @ Aalto will be available at www.aalto.fi/health/eatmeet.

Information on the Universal Design Conference at Aalto University will be available at https://ud2020.aalto.fi/ 

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