The Art and Science of Healing Design

Join AIA|DC’s Design + Wellbeing Committee and the Biophilic Practice Group for a discussion exploring the nature, art, and science behind design for healing. 

Drawing on four decades of her creative design solutions and research for 300+ domestic and international healthcare projects, Barbara J. Huelat will define the core principles of her Healing Design approach integrating both the beauty of the arts and evidence-based science to create places where people can thrive. Huelat’s presentation will illustrate concepts of fractals, nature-based patterning, perspective, refuge layering, and full spectrum lighting. She will incorporate case studies from projects including Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, Merrifield Behavioral Health Center, and MedStar Health at Washington Hospital. Dr. Dina El-Metwally will then discuss how human-centric Healing Design is seen through the medical lens and experience of patients and medical professionals. Her collaborative transformation of UMCH’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit open-bay facility into a family-centered space with cutting edge medical technologies and a nature-inspired sensory environment was achieved through innovative spatial design and the balancing of color, light, earth, sound, touch, movement, taste, and smell in support of the hospital’s youngest patients. 

Presentations will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Dana Oprisan, MD, Assoc .AIA, LEED AP BD+C, EDAC, further exploring how the healthcare facilities may become healing environments, the importance of a holistic approach, and how the interface between design and healthcare professionals may be smoothened for improved communication, design work, and design outcome. 

Hosted by the AIA | DC Design + Wellbeing Committee. Organized by the Biophilic Practice Group, a new nonprofit initiative launched by Biophilic DC. Co-sponsored by Women in Healthcare, CB Flooring, and Gazelle CX. 

Presenter Name: Barbara J. Huelat, FASID, AAHID, EDAC: Interior Designer, Author and Speaker, Healing Design 

Dina El-Metwally, MD, PhD: Associate Professor, Medical Director, Drs Rouben and Violet JiJi Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Division of Neonatology-Department of Pediatrics University of Maryland School of Medicine 

Click here to register by: March 4, 2019 5:59 PM Eastern Time

Can Design Mitigate Disruptive Behavior?

environments for aging

barbara huelat speaking efaSpeaking Engagement

Environments for the Aging

Savannah, Georgia

April 23, 2018

“Blame the disease, not the person.”  It is the response we have often heard to deal with disruptive behaviors such as agitation, yelling, hitting or uncooperative behaviors which are linked to dementia.  These behaviors are the disruptions which makes living with the disease so challenging for caregivers, facilities, and family.

This session will address disruptive behaviors as communication tools when languages and other means of coping are no longer available to persons with dementia.  Design can be a tool to shift our way of thinking from unmet needs that require attention to a supportive and friendly environment which provide meaning to the person with the disease.

This two-point focus will look at the disease from the medical approach identifying what is happening in the diseased brain and a design approach to offer tools for practical solutions that can offer positive distractions to allow this population and their caregivers a better quality of life.

  • Understand dementia as a disease
  • Identify “Triggers” associated with disruptive behaviors
  • How to create a “Toolbox” of design and WELL interventions
  • How design interventions can improve the quality of life for the persons living with dementia, facilities, caregivers and family
  • Speakers:

    Michael Pietzrak, MD, Strategic Initiatives/ Technology Futures. HKS

    Barbara Huelat, FASID, EDAC, AAHID
    nursing home village