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Designs for Different Futures: A Virtual Tour for Healthcare Design Professionals

Course Description

Healthcare design professionals continue to shape how we think about possible futures for human beings around the globe. By way of this webinar, which includes a virtual tour of selected works from Designs for Different Futures, a major exhibition organized by the Walker Art Center, Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Art Institute of Chicago, the attendees will review several of the dynamic and creative works that address the health challenges and opportunities that humans will continue to encounter in the years, decades and centuries to come.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue by the same title, published by Yale University Press (2019). Through new contributions by the show’s curatorial team and a broad range of scholars and designers, the exhibition and its catalogue delve into themes such as human-digital interaction, climate change, political and social inequality, resource scarcity, transportation, and infrastructure. These themes, also known as “wicked” problems, leave healthcare design professionals, among others, with many questions, such as the following:

  • What role can technology play in augmenting or replacing a broad range of human activities?
  • How can we structure our environments to foster access, connectedness, relationships and community?
  • How can we negotiate privacy in a world in which the sharing and use of personal information has blurred traditional boundaries?
  • How might we use design to promote wellness and to help heal or transform ourselves, both physically and psychologically?
  • How will we feed an ever-growing population?
  • Will our world still be here, 100 years from now?

Structurally, the exhibition is divided into 11 thematic sections—Labors, Cities, Intimacies, Bodies, Powers, Earths, Foods, Materials, Generations, Informations, and Resources—and features an international array of architects, designers and innovators from all fields. To provide examples of these themes, the webinar will highlight several of the 80 forward-looking projects in the exhibition, including the following:

  • a breast pump “hack” event in the workplace (Labors)
  • lunar settlements (Cities)
  • the handshake during COVID-19 (Intimacies)
  • wearables, e-skin, a gene editing toolbox and circumventive organs (Bodies)
  • a digital identity card and a type-face that thwarts algorithmic surveillance (Powers)
  • power source allocation (Earths)
  • lab-grown meals (Foods)
  • bio-receptive lightweight concrete component (Materials)
  • global seed vaults and libraries that will only be available 100 years from now (Generations)
  • relationships with robots (Informations)
  • architectural designs mapping global urban electrification, or the lack thereof (Resources)

You won’t want to miss this webinar and learn more about the health challenges and opportunities that healthcare design professionals will continue to shape long into the future.

Learning objectives:

  1. Define key terms – optimal healing environments, evidence-based design, human-centered design or design thinking, health, the “quadruple aim” as adopted by Institute for Healthcare Improvement, wicked problems, and futures – all to confirm outcomes of healthcare design.
  2. Examine the laws, regulations and industry standards that seek to advance the achievement of health, particularly in the case of vulnerable populations who lack access to healthcare programs and services, to foster better understanding and compliance with these requirements.
  3. Describe at least five (5) works from the exhibition that represent healthcare design opportunities that seek to promote the “quadruple aim” of health across populations, now and into the future.
  4. For each of the above healthcare design opportunities, list and discuss the key challenges that require the use of evidence-based design processes, human-centered design strategies and compliance with applicable requirements, all to create optimal healing environments.

Presented by Susan Ziel, BSN MPH JD, NIHD Fellow, Healthcare Consultant, Affiliate Faculty and Teaching Specialist, Integrity Health Strategies, University of Minnesota.

1 CEU Credit

EDAC Course ID:
December 2, 2020 to December 31, 2021
Class Frequency: