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BDP Project image - OneAngelSquare, phot

A Virtual Panel Discussion

Designing for Health & Wellbeing

Thursday, 22 April 2021 at 10.30 am

Access Passcode: DpU2021!

Project Image: OneAngelSquare.  Design by BDP.  Photo credit: Hufton + Crow

Buildings affect how we socialise, work, sleep, and even breathe. We spend a staggering 90% of our lives inside, so our environment's quality has a significant impact on our health. Done badly, spaces can isolate or endanger us – designed well, they can enhance our wellbeing, even heal us. So how can we increase the health benefits of architecture?

From schools to offices and homes to hospitals – design materials, techniques, and new technologies can improve both mental and physical wellbeing. Our next panel brings together experts from across industry and academia to discuss approaches for creating healthier environments. 

Insights & Solutions

Wellness architecture is a growing field – using design techniques to consciously create a balance between physical, emotional, cognitive and spiritual health. Join our expert panel for a discussion on the power of architecture in promoting personal wellbeing. 

Shed a better light

Good lighting benefits our mood, behaviour and welfare. But too much darkness, harsh or poor-quality lighting – and it's a headache. We'll explore techniques to improve health and happiness, including functional solutions, maximising natural light, and biodynamic lighting.  

Enhance air quality

Reducing pollutants has never been more vital, especially in urban environments. We'll look at controlled ventilation for improving air quality and the innovative new materials designed to minimise VOC exposure.  

Make space for movement 

Inside and out, encouraging mobility is essential. Learn how techniques in active design can increase social bonds, encourage collaboration, and aid mental health. And outside, we'll see how reimagining streetscapes influences better transport decisions.  

Access Passcode: DpU2021!

The Panel

Philip Gray

Head of Sustainability at BDP

Philip Gray - BDP.jpg

Philip Gray is BDP’s Sustainability Director. He has a passion for sustainability and environmental preservation and is committed to low energy and cost-effective environmental design. His team has an impressive portfolio of environmental assessments, strategic development documents and environmental management enhancements.

Philip has contributed to a wide range of projects across all sectors and has extensive experience in making these spaces better. He led the environmental design strategy for the new Low Carbon Enterprise Centre at the University of East Anglia, now considered one of the most sustainable buildings in the UK. He was also the BREEAM consultant for a zero-carbon building for the University of Essex.

He has also developed environmental design strategies for several organisations, including the British Council, BAA (Heathrow Airport) and PwC, as well as developing sustainability masterplans for various UK universities.

Dr Ute Besenecker

KTH university Stockholm 

Ute Besenecker is Associate Professor in Lighting Design at the School of Architecture and the Built Environment, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. She is a design researcher and educator focusing on the impact of lighting on human perception, behaviour and wellbeing in spatial environments, with special interest in facilitating interdisciplinary collaboration involving mixed-methods research in design, art, engineering and the sciences. 

Her background spans academic human factors research as well as professional practice in lighting design, policy development, product management, and architecture. She holds a PhD in Architectural Sciences from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) as well as Master’s Degrees in Lighting from the Lighting Research Center at RPI, and in Architecture and Design from Columbia University, USA, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany, and Polytechnico di Milano, Italy.

Ute is an active member of the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) contributing to technical committee work, member of the the International Commission on Illumination (CIE), educator member of the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD), founding member of the Light Collaboration Network for Research and Education (LCN), and advisory member of the International Nighttime Design Initialtive (NTD).

Ute Besenecker2019_Photo by Casper Hedbe
Darran Prior - Theres Light.jpg

Darran Prior

Lighting Designer at There's Light

Darran trained as an architect at Queen’s University Belfast and later graduated with a first-class master’s in Architectural Lighting Design from KTH University in Stockholm. His thesis discussed the social and environmental impacts of lighting.   

With just under 10 years of experience in the lighting design industry, Darran has worked in a variety of sectors, leading on projects ranging from commercial hospitality and high-end residential to museum exhibitions. In 2018, he set up his own lighting design company and has most recently joined ‘There’s Light’ as a Principal Lighting Designer.

Some more notable projects include Holland Green by OMA with Allies & Morrison and John Pawson, which was awarded the RIBA London award in 2017, and Truman’s social club, winner of the 2021 LIT awards and currently shortlisted for DARC awards 2021. In the residential sector, he led the lighting design for a hypoallergenic home which was featured on ‘Grand Designs’.

Darran is passionate about sustainability and wellbeing, particularly the psychological and physiological effects that lighting can have on these aspects of human life. This passion has led to advisory roles for the Centre Of London’s report ‘Seeing clearly : A new vision for London’s lighting’, and ongoing engagement with London’s councils to improve public lighting.

Rosalie Menon

Senior Lecturer and Researcher at the Glasgow School of Art

Rosalie Menon has been teaching and researching at the Mackintosh School of Architecture in Glasgow since 2005. She is a co-director of MEARU (Mackintosh Environmental Architectural Research Unit) which has an established track record of high-quality research into environmental architecture. She has a track record of leading transformational technical research which engages with key policymakers and stakeholders. Rosalie was the project manager in an EPSRC funded (£522K) project led by MEARU titled ‘Environmental Impact of Domestic Laundering’.  The outcomes of the project informed the production of a ‘Design Guide’ for policymakers and housing designers and the publication launch gained significant media coverage worldwide. Her research into indoor air quality and associated health and wellbeing in housing has been presented in both academic journals and international conferences.


Presenting sponsors


Virtual Event

Designing for Health & Wellbeing

Thursday, 22 April 2021 at 10.30 am

Access Passcode: DpU2021!

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