What if Design and Public Health joined to tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges?

Design and Public Health

Towards a Confluence

There has been tremendous progress in improving health around the world over the last century. Still, we are faced with persistent, intractable problems that continue to threaten our well-being. Bringing design to public health does not replace current approaches. Rather, it advances expertise in solving systemic challenges fraught with uncertainty due to intangible emotional, cultural, social factors that are difficult to measure and control.

Our agenda

Pressing Challenges

Design for Well-Being

When people’s lives were simpler, slower, and offered fewer choices, organizations could be certain about what to make. But, as societies grew and diversified over time, organizations have not kept pace. Today, the fast and continuous change in people’s lives, producers’ technology, and world events make 20th-century traditional approaches unfit to address 21st-century challenges, including economic discrepancy, global climate change, and unregulated media.

We propose to advance the field of design towards improving the well-being of three interdependent constituencies: people, organizations, and the natural environment. Rather than approaching each part in isolation, we are investigating how they form a whole system that can give shape to new livelihoods.

Our approach

Recent Contributions

See Change: Overcoming Anti-Black Racism in Health Systems

Anti-Black racism embedded in contemporary health systems harms Black and Indigenous People of Color (BIPoC) in concert with various diseases. Seemingly unrelated at first, the COVID-19 pandemic is a recent example that reveals how the combined manifestations of…

Tactical Design For Pandemics

The COVID-19 pandemic turned the lives of billions upside down, demanding a rapid response from governments, corporations, and medical professionals the world over. It also offered students and researchers the opportunity to study those responses in real-time. During…