Harvard Design Magazine no.40 - WELL, WELL, WELL
Health, and the information around it, is messy. As are our bodies and the systems intended to help sustain them. No anatomical chart, in its immaculate precision, can articulate the ooze of our fluids and secretions, or our sensations of pain and fear; or the strain of accumulating medical bills; or the clash between the cult of wellness and rampant addiction; or the inequality of access to basic hygiene, nutrition, and medical care. Like health itself, our power—as individuals, citizens, and designers—to heal or to harm ourselves and the spaces in which we dwell is full of contradictions.
These contradictions are what generated this issue of Harvard Design Magazine. “Well, Well, Well” explores some of the tensions and transformations of the landscape of health and illness. As both designers and inhabitants, we create this landscape, and in turn, must navigate our own well-being within it. And as the rules of wellness continue to change—along with political events, science and technology, and nature itself—design and planning must adapt and respond accordingly. Architecture’s panaceas are not without expiration dates, and might even turn out to do more harm than good—but ultimately design has the power to promote and support health and healing in preemptive and progressive ways.
Published by Harvard University Graduate School of Design
publication: Spring/Summer 2015
Harvard Design Magazine is a registered tax-exempt nonprofit, published twice yearly by the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.
Relaunched in summer 2014, Harvard Design Magazine probes beyond the established design disciplines to enrich and diversify current discourse. Scholarly, poetic, and visually lush, each issue triggers new interpretations of design’s defining role in today’s culture. Distinguished and unexpected voices from the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning meet those from the realms of art, science, literature, and beyond. A space for dialogue, speculation, and surprise: Harvard Design Magazine opens a door onto the applied device of design, and the people, places, and politics it engages.