Equity & Hope and the Healing Power of Place in Healthcare

For many years now, healthcare design has focused on evidence-based design, and with good reason: the physical design of healthcare environments has been proven to significantly affect patients and staff. This session isn't about that--rather, it's about the healing power of place, which is emotional, as opposed to space, which is physical. As humans, we connect to place on a subliminal level; we remember things like how we felt and who we were with. Place is composed of the intangibles of a design that elevate and transform the experience of "being" in the space--the things that make it so special that we connect with it on an emotional level. It's about the qualitative elements that speak to equity, hope, dignity, and respect, and the opportunity to destigmatize hospitals, so that they become sought-after community destinations. In this presentation, we'll talk about the design processes used to create meaningful, healing places--healthy places that foster the healing process because they welcome and engage people (including the healthcare team, the patient, and their family) and bring out the best in everyone by meeting the needs of their mind, body, and soul. We will use inspiring project examples to show how a building can do it all, traveling from Lisbon, Portugal, to Detroit, MI, to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and New South Wales, Australia to illustrate how buildings designed with care, compassion, and attention to detail support equity and foster trust and confidence between communities and the institutions that serve them.

Lois Wellwood, IIDA, IDC, LID, AAA

Global Interior Design Director


Lois is a champion of design and the dynamic force driving HDR’s global interior design practice, collaborating across continents, and leveraging her award-winning expertise into every facet of the firm’s integrated design practice. With over 25 years of experience, she is well-known for skillfully creating a culture of intuitive thinking, blending talent and innovation to create transformative solutions for clients in the health, corporate/commercial, higher education, residential, and retail and hospitality sectors. She has extensive experience working with cross-functional partners to develop cohesive site, architectural, systems and interior solutions and experiences with lasting, meaningful impact.

Julie Robertson

Regional Interior Design Director


Julie is an award-winning designer passionate about solving problems to produce creative project solutions that bring the client’s brand and goals to reality. She is responsible for some of HDR’s most transformative world-class community healthcare projects, skilled at delivering designs that embody a sense of hope and optimism to users and helping to usher in a new era of health to the communities these facilities serve. Through visioning, concept creation and collaborative partnerships with clients, stakeholders and other disciplines, Julie creates memorable places that deliver improved outcomes and community impact.

This content will not be available until 06/10/2024 at 8:00 AM (EDT)