International Academy for Design and Health

The International Academy for Design and Health is a leading global interdisciplinary

knowledge community dedicated to the stimulation and application of research

concerning the interaction between design, health, science and culture.

Next World Congress on Design&Health will be held in Singapore on 29 Oct - 02 Nov 2025

Pan Pacific Orchard Congress venue 

Singapore on 29 Oct - 02 Nov 2025

Designed by WOHA

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Sunken Plaza 10 - taken by Gary Tng
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Nanyang Technological University School of Art, Design and Media, Sing
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Press Release: 13th World Congress on Design and Health


The 13th World Congress on Design and Health, hosted by the International Academy for Design and Health, took place from April 11th to 14th, 2024, with partnership of  Politecnico di Milano. The congress showcased groundbreaking scientific research on the connection between design and health, and the profound impact of the built environment on human well-being. In collaboration with Politecnico di Milano, renowned for its standing as one of the world's premier scientific universities, the congress delivered a resounding success. The inaugural day of the Congress was dedicated to Mentors and Mentees M2 networking, drawing together esteemed experts, scholars, and designers alongside Ph.D. candidates. This assembly represented a global, interdisciplinary community committed to advancing research at the intersection of design, health, science, and culture. The second day commenced with a welcome address by Dr. Emilio Faroldi, Vice Rector of Politecnico di Milano, emphasizing the imperative of interdisciplinary collaboration in driving innovation at the confluence of design and health. Dr. Alan Dilani, President and Founder of the Academy for Design and Health, presented compelling scientific evidence on Salutogenic Design theory, followed by Dr. Stefano Capolongo's discourse on the Role of Architecture in promoting health across society, from urban landscapes to hospital infrastructures. The session was highlighted by the presentation of the Vertical Forest, or "Bosco Verticale," an iconic architectural marvel designed by Arch. Stefano Boeri, which has become a symbol of Milano. The subsequent session featured a keynote address by Dr. David Rakel of the USA, elucidating on the Science of Salutogenesis and Healthcare Delivery. This was followed by engaging discussions and presentations by several architects and medical practitioners, exploring the transformative potential of Salutogenic approaches in healthcare, from hospitals to community facilities, and their broader implications for public health and urban development. On the third day, themes such as Healthy Aging and Dementia Care took center stage, delving into theoretical frameworks and practical strategies for promoting well-being in aging populations. Renowned speakers such as Dr. John Zeisel and Dr. Enzo Grossi presented compelling insights into the cognitive dimensions of architectural design and the neurobiological mechanisms underlying perceptions of beauty. The Congress also featured the International Academy Awards Gala Dinner, honoring leaders in design and health, including Lifetime leadership Awards to Dr. John Zeisel and recognition of the architect Tye Farrow, with others for their exemplary contributions to the field. On the fourth day, participants embarked on study tours aligned with the Congress themes, exploring Urban Health initiatives, Hospital Design case studies, and Healthy Building exemplars. Reflecting on the Congress, attendees expressed profound inspiration and gratitude for the enriching experience. President Alan Dilani commended the leadership of Politecnico di Milano and announced the venue for the next Congress in Singapore, scheduled for October 28th to November 1st, 2025. We look forward see you in Singapore to explore into the forefront of Salutogenic science and its role in fostering a sustainable, healthy society.

Download all presentations of the WCDH2024

Session 1: Scientific Introduction of the Congress

Alan Dilani (Sweden), The Science of the Salutogenesis, Theory and Application

Stefano Capolongo (Italy), The Hospital of the Future

Stefano Boeri (Italy), The Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest) Green Residential


Session 2: Healthcare Design

David Rakel, MD (USA), The Science of the Salutogenesis and Healthcare Delivery

Andrea Brambilla (Italy), Sustainability in the Next Generation Hospital. Needs and requirements

Tye Farrow (Canada), Embreathment, Embodiment, Environmental Enrichment, improved outcome

Margreet C. Vos (The Netherlands), Design a Safe Hospital for Patients and Healthcare Staff


Session 3: Case Studies Healthcare Design

Sonika Rawal, Celen Pasalar (USA), Impact of Urban Park Design on Recovery from Stress

Eduard Boonstra (The Netherlands), Why a “Blue Hospital” Design? How to Achieve?

Maddalena Buffoli (Italy), Urban Green Space Design and Frequency Exposure Impact

Erica Brusamolin (Italy), Designing Community Health center to Improve Well-being

Marco Gola (Italy), Rethinking the Territorial Medicine in Italy

Erica Isa Mosca (Italy), Advanced Design Strategies for Community Health Center in Italy


Session 5: Urban Mental Health / Supportive Environment

John Zeisel (USA), Healthy Aging Includes Aging Well with Dementia

Tianzhi Sun (Italy), Supporting Healthy Aging Community by Design and Health Impact

Calvin WH Luk (Hong Kong), Salutogenic design for therapeutic garden in a vertical city of Hong Kong

Silvia Mangili (Italy), Assessing the Quality of Built Environment for People with Dementia


Session 6: Urban Public Health  

Antonio Gomez-Palacio (Canada), The Community Well-being Framework

Julia Nerantzia Tzortzi (Italy), Urban Health - Interdisciplinary Resilience Assessment

Ruzica Bozovic Stamenovic (Singapore), Singapore: Shaping the Salutogenic City for Resilient Future

Fei Lian (China), Effects of Neighborhood Environment on People with Cognitive Impairments

Mauricio Rosso (Colombia), The Critical Role of Urban Environment on Health of People


Session 7: Healthy Buildings

Enzo Grossi MD (Italy), Neurobiological Salutogenic Mechanisms of Architectural Beauty

Francesqca Jimenez (USA), New Workplace Design with Positive Effects on Employee Physical Activity

Andrea Möhn (The Netherlands), Healing Architecture: six case studies of room renovations

Argiro Dimoudi (Greece), Zero Energy Building Strategies for Hospitals

Mohana Das (Hong Kong), Salutogenic Design and its Role in Enhancing the Sense of Belonging

Eleonora Zioni (Brazil), Neuro-urbanism and Mental Health: designing the salutogenic city 

    Vision and Mission

"Healthy Environment - Healthy People"

To promote health and well-being through Salutogenic Design, we aim to create physical environments that actively support health promotion, fostering healthy society.

Ecological Design 

“The challenge for ecological design is to provide a green context for a healthy society, dealing with built infrastructure that creates clean air, clean water, clean food, and clean land. These principles are intertwined with those of salutogenic design, which support human health in daily life through stimuli of psychosocial supportive design factors.”   

Dr Ken Yeang, Ph.D.

Architect, planner and the founder of Ecological Design, The world's leading green skyscraper architect

Salutogenic Design

The Salutogenic Design support the sense of coherence that fostered by people’s ability to comprehend the built environment (Comprehensibility), to be effective in his behavior (Manageability) and to find meaning from the stimuli and exposure from their built environment (Meaningfulness). The high degree of Sense of Coherence supports people in managing stress and promote health and wellebing.

Dr Alan Dilani, Ph.D.

Architect, Public Health Scientist who develop the theory of Salutogenic Design

Neurobiological salutogenic mechanisms of architectural beauty

“The salutogenic design with curvy-shaped architecture are able to activate brain centers of the beauty circuit, with impacts on particles such as dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin and endorphins that can interfere with anxiety, stress, depression. These are precisely the health benefits of salutogenic effects of architectural beauty and its contribution.”

Prof. Enzo Grossi

Medical doctor, scientist,and researcher in the field of Pharmaceutical Medicine, ArtificialIntelligence, Art Culture and Health.

Duties of the Architect

“We are committed to the key illuminations of theoretical neurobiology and expanding the value creation and artistic function of architecture in order to produce the best performing and most optimised salutogenic environments for today’s interconnected world.”

Kristen Whittle, RIBA AIA M. Arch SCI-Arc BA Hons

Studio Kristen Whittle is focused exclusively on the creation of human health and planetary health environments.

“Salutogenic design is ‘good design’

It is not only because of its direct applicability to people’s health but because it’s based in research, science and quantifiable evidence. By adopting salutogenic design, advocates for ‘good design’ in government share a common purpose with decision makers. It is precisely from this evidence base that design professionals can rebuild trust in their profession and design more broadly—a worthy intellectual and creative pursuit for the public good.”

Stefano Scalzo

Executive General Manager, Infrastructure Planning, Victorian Department of Health, Australia

Invited Keynote Speakers for WCDH2024

Our Partners

Gardens by the Bay
Zaha Haddid
Victoria Cancer center
Victora Cance Center

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