Why Medicine Should Use Cradle-to-Cradle Design to Actively Improve Women’s Health
#health, #style, #beauty
Presenter: Theresa Boyer
JHU Affiliation: Research Program Coordinator, School of Medicine and Student, MS in Biotechnology
Environmental degradation disproportionately impacts women and children. Research also troublingly links exposure to chemicals and pollutants to increased rates of miscarriage, preterm birth, and other adverse pregnancy outcomes. Developing effective and innovative strategies to address gendered-based environmental health disparities is essential for ensuring healthy families and communities.
The ecological medical design remains an often-overlooked opportunity to create architectural spaces that support the health of the user and the surrounding community. In their groundbreaking 2002 manifesto, architect Bill McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart advocate for the societal adoption of cradle-to-cradle design. With the conversion of waste to food, reliance on natural energy, and appreciation of ecological diversity, the cradle-to-cradle paradigm shift challenges society to operate harmoniously and reciprocally with nature through design. Applying the cradle-to-cradle philosophy to the design of women’s health spaces allows us to view design as a form of both gendered and community-based environmental activism. Women’s healthcare buildings can encourage the use of public transportation, rely on local sustainable materials, and incorporate environmental education. Furthermore, the integration of nature within a medical environment promotes physical and emotional healing.
In this talk, I will open your eyes to how ecologically conscious architectural design can actively promote the health of women and their communities. I hope to give you some tools to critically analyze the next hospital or clinic you enter and to carefully think about how these designs can support the social, psychological, and physical wellbeing of women and the surrounding community.