designing health

"Design" is a dynamic and multi-faceted term. Both verb and noun, it originates in the Latin designare, or, "to mark out." Thus, design can be understood as both a mental activity that involves the study and transformation of our physical and intellectual surroundings; and as the products of such activity. “Health,” according to the World Health Organization, "…is not only the absence of infirmity and disease, but also a state of physical, mental and social well-being." Design and health have many areas of overlap. How do the designs of our environments, including such specific characteristics as light, color, material, and dimension; and more general characteristics such as proximity to nature, other human beings, and basic services, affect our health? Can good design contribute to good health, and if so, how can we study this relationship and facilitate the most healthful outcomes?

The Interdisciplinary Design Institute of Washington State University Spokane will hold its Sixth Annual Design Research Conference October 7-8, 2010, in Spokane, Washington, to discuss this relationship. This is an interactive conference in which invited speakers, paper presenters and students from a wide range of disciplines participate in multiple venues for the exchange of ideas during the conference.


ASWSU – Spokane

Washington State University

Spokane - Riverpoint Campus

College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences

College of Engineering and Architecture

Interior Design Educators Council

Downtown Spokane Partnership