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Human Centered Design

When enrolled in our programs, Professor Collingwood will go in depth and teach students to design healthy buildings that create environments that are conscientious of inhabitants' well being physically and mentally. We want you to stand out because you understand how to approach projects holistically. This is a growing trend, and Studio Institute Denver believes strongly that its students need to understand these practices for the future of others, our community and the planet.

What is a Healthy Building?  A healthy building enables occupants to perform at their highest capability by empowering them to work in a productive and favorable environment free from needless distractions and irritants. Healthy buildings incorporate elements that ensure occupant well-being such as natural ventilation, air quality, thermal comfort, moisture control, dust management, security, water quality, acoustical comfort, lighting quality, and views. Design that promotes physical activity and includes smoking regulations also play a major role in the health of a space (Allen et al., 2017). Healthy buildings emphasize the need for lower energy consumption, durability, and recyclability. Designing a healthy building is a holistic process that accomplishes ecologic balance in new and existing construction toward the long-term sustainability of design and health (Loftness, Hakkinen, Adan, Nevalaninen, 2007). Student learning and well-being are directly tied to the built environment. Recent research support addressing health and well-being as a significant approach to minimizing academic achievement gaps among students. For example, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports an immediate relationship between student’s success rates and health and well-being. School districts are under pressure to acknowledge gaps in current building features and operations (Chenoweth, 2018).

Healthy buildings have a significant impact on human health and well-being (Nordqvist, 2017). In a study conducted by the Syracuse University Center for Excellence, workers who occupied healthy spaces performed 26% better on cognitive-function assessments than workers in buildings that were not healthy (MacNaughton, 2016). Numerous studies indicate that healthy buildings reduce illness, increase productivity, raise test scores, and increase satisfaction among occupants (Howard, 2017).

Alternatively, studies have uncovered significant and troublesome health concerns. Occupants exposed to unhealthy buildings have experienced changes in reproductive hormones, allergies, and eczema (Stempien, 2016). Side effects of spending time in unhealthy buildings include chronic migraines, nausea, fatigue, difficulty focusing and, in extreme situations, long-term illness and disease (Joshi, 2008). As the healthy building movement has grown and expanded to provide a more holistic approach, communities have begun to better understand the significance of designing buildings that are healthy.

Here at Studio Institute Denver, we believe that human health should not be defined as simply being free from disease and illness. We teach you about how to create healthy buildings and environments that ensure that the people occupying the building are not at risk for negative health impacts that can derive from buildings that possess unhealthy qualities such as poor indoor air quality. In our trend forward programming, we incorporate lessons around how important it is to incorporate design practices that adhere to this growing trend in design and construction. Learn more about what's possible, contact us for a tour today by emailing Professor Collingwood


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