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Designing with wellness in mind

Long after the ribbons have been cut and you’ve moved onto the next project, the impact of your designs remain.

If you question the power of architecture and design, consider the fact that people spend about 90% of their time indoors. Reflecting a new found appreciation for healthier spaces – particularly after our collective period of COVID-19 lockdowns, World Architecture Day 2022 was themed around architecture for well-being, and Urban Architectural Initiatives designated 2022 as the “Year of Design for Health” in buildings and cities.

Yet even before 2022, we’ve seen how our own architecture, design and construction clients have embraced and emphasized wellness.

They’ve been more daring with natural elements, given careful consideration to color and texture and expanded the overall square footage of dedicated wellness spaces.

Their designs now incorporate more natural light. They look for ways to dampen noise, and we're seeing more features that encourage movement, interaction and self-care.

We're also answering more questions now about the environmental impact of their designs, which is something we're invested in ourselves as a member of GreenSpot, an organization dedicated to making communities more sustainable).

All this focus on wellness has resulted in some recent installations that have incorporated:

  • A wide range of wood – in both species and thickness – which can be printed on directly or cut into shapes and letters

  • Workout spaces that energize and motivate

  • Materials that mimic nature, like artificial turf, handcrafted metal leaves or landscape murals

  • Printed fabrics and custom wallpapers with themes inspired by nature

  • Eco-friendly substrates that can be recycled

  • Water-soluble inks

For us, it’s been an inspiring time to be part of the design community.

Corporate workout and wellness spaces are a valuable perk as companies invite workers back to the office.

As Alberto Salvatore, National Healthcare Design Leader at HED, says, “design is not neutral.”

As Salvatore goes on to explain, “The ‘Culture of Health’ lens should be embedded in our design process. Every design starts with an inspiration. I, along with others I am sure, believe that if we use HEALTH as the inspiration to transform our practices, then we can not only transform our buildings, but also our communities and, once and for all, our planet. I also believe that architects and designers are, at our core, public health professionals. We should embrace that opportunity and, at some point soon after all of this, the collective responsibility to have an even greater impact on our community’s health through our designs.”

What a thought-provoking way to describe what our clients do!

How are some of the ways you’ve incorporated wellness into your own projects – from small choices to big ideas? Or what would you love to try in relation to wellness? We hope to hear more in the comments!



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