The theme for World Architecture Day 2022 was Architecture for well-being. The theme is in line with the designation of 2022 as the UIA Year of Design for Health and the Union’s commitment to use evidence-based design to promote health in buildings and cities.
Health, as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity,” and “the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition” (WHO, n.d.).
To respond to recent global public health crises including the COVID-19 pandemic and other devastating disasters, the UIA General Assembly in July 2021 declared “2022: UIA Year of Design for Health.” This commitment urges all UIA Member Sections to encourage architects and their clients to use evidence-based design to promote health in buildings and cities, and promotes “Design that protects health, design that develops Better Health, and design that restores health once it is impaired.”
Keeping in mind that the built environment has an impact on the health of the people who experience it, Design for health and well-being should be a fundamental component imbedded in every project, for every practice, and at any scale, which was emphasised and demonstrated on World Architecture Day.
The UIA went beyond the role of architecture in making our lives better by protecting, developing and restoring health to examine how architects can better contribute to the physical, emotional, environmental, financial and social wellness of humankind all while having a positive impact on the environment.
We were joined by experts and architects from around the world for a webinar on Architecture for Well-being
Moderated by Ruzica Bozovic Stamenovic (Serbia), the webinar included a presentation by Thiago Hérick de Sá, Department of the Social Determinants of Health, World Health Organization (WHO) who discussed what well-being is and the role of architects therein.
It also featured the following presentations:
- Architecture in service to society by Pascale Sablan (USA), Adjaye Associates architect and Beyond the Built Environment founder.
- Nicosia City Master Plan by Agni Petridou (Cyprus) and Ali Guralp (Cyprus).
- Healthy Buildings by Jako Nice (South Africa), Studio Konstruk.
- The Healing Landscape In Resilient Built Environment: Kongjian Yu (China), Founder of Turenscape, ecological urbanist, urban planner and landscape architect.
- People-centred urban design by Jan Gehl (Denmark), Gehl
UIA President José Luis Cortés, Secretary General Pei Ing Tan and Public Health Group Director Ray Pentecost also spoke during the event.