Report of lecture by Alan Dilani

Published on
May 30, 2017

On Wednesday, the 24th of May, the Health and Society group hosted a very interesting lecture and expert workshop about salutogenic design by Prof. Alan Dilani . The lecture was organised and facilitated by Carlijn Wentink.

Alan Dilani first introduced us to Design & Health. It is since 1997 that the WHO has identified a "health arena: spaces which should be the centre of health promotion activities in the 21st century. For example schools, hospitals, our homes and public spaces.
Prof. Dilani also explained the theory of salutogenesis, and how this translates to the Salutogenic Design Principal and Salutogenic Hospital Design. The theory of salutogenesis explains the development of human health and well-being, and is complementary to pathogenesis, which explains the development of disease. Salutogenic environments are places that are comprehensible (e.g. through routing or landmarks), manageable (e.g. being able to control lighting and temperature) and meaningful (e.g. use of art or green elements). Designing from a salutogenic perspective can have various positive effects for peoples’ health, such as lowering stress-levels, improving brain performance and better functioning attention systems.

Alan Dilani
Carlijn Wentink

Salutogenic architecture often makes use of daylight, plants, , access to nature, art and culture. Also music is increasingly used in salutogenic design.

Over 50% of deaths worldwide are caused by tobacco, physical inactivity and an unhealthy diet. Dilani: “Architects, urban planners and transport engineers (among many others) can create environments in which healthy choices are easy choices.”

The lecture was followed by an expert workshop in which opportunities and constraints for creating a a "Healthy Building Index" were discussed. To follow up on what was discussed, we have the intention to organize another meeting with professionals working in this field in the autumn of 2017.

About Prof. Alan Dilani
Professor Alan Dilani is founder and General Director of the International Academy for Design and Health (IADH). He is co-founder of the Journal “World Health Design” Prof. Dilani has been engaged worldwide in several universities in the field of Design and Health developing "Psychosocially Supportive Design Program", both in Medical and Design institutions. He holds a Masters of Architecture in Environmental Design and a Ph.D. in Health Facility. In his research at Karolinska Institute, Medical University, he developed a multidisciplinary research approach, which lead to the new definition called “Salutogenic Design” that not only fosters functional efficiency, but also improves health processes.