ALAN DILANI: I think there is a strong link between health-care design and hospitality, because the knowledge that we have developed within health-care design is equally relevant for hospitality. In the health-care design, we discuss highly the interaction between patient, staff, people and [? building ?] environment. We design the hospital [INAUDIBLE] to cure and treat patients but also how to support them to be well.
So, also, these qualities of design and [? building ?] environment within the hospital could be equally implemented in highly sophisticated for the hospitality, for the hotel, because, again, the connection is very high. In the health-care design, we're looking for the psychosocial factor, deeply. And those psychosocial design factor could be equally translate for the hospitality for the hotel.
The example of psychosocial factor could be the color, wayfinding, art-- the use of art-- and pleasure, stimuli that we got from the [? building ?] environment within the hospital, both for staff, visitors, but also patient, is highly could be implemented. Color, wayfinding, music, art, nature-- all those qualities that we have done a lot of research.
In hospital, we have developed lot of research. And the major research that is relevant internationally, globally accepted salutogenic design. Salutogenic design is simply dealing with which factor of design that could support people's health and well-being. And we have identified as wellness factor, and we apply in many hospitals.
Those hospitals that design by famous architect, very successful, the same people actually did design very successful hotel. So, I can see those hotels that is very successful, I am looking for them, and I find them, they are hospital designers. The quality of teaching for our next generation of architect is very, very, very low, in this direction. They don't teach a lot the interaction between people and [? building ?] environment.
And that is a problem. I just came back from Toronto, and that was the discussion again-- how we prepare future-generation architect to really interact with people's health and well-being, within the [? building ?] environment? Because no matter, wherever we design, it should be related to people. When we build the city planning, urban planning, public institution, hospital, I mean, the hotels, there's always people there. And our main focus should be people.
Now, people with different degrees of capacity to manage stress, how we can provide knowledge within the [? building ?] environment that people could cope with the stress and manage the stress. And this is a big problem. Stress is the point of departure for all kind of psychosomatic diseases. Lifestyle-related diseases is related to stress. And stress is highly related to our perception from the [? building ?] environment. The stimuli that we get from the [? building ?] environment and our capacity to manage this environment and understand the quality of [? building ?] environment, it give us serenity, calm, peaceful, we can manage, and we are not in a stress situation.
And I think, again, hospitality and stress is highly linked, and we must design to prevent stress, to reduce stress. But, at the same time, we must increase the quality of experiences in the [? building ?] environment-- that we feel good, we feel calm, we feel that we are in the place and without any stress factor.
And many hotels, it's very stressful when you come. We don't find the Reception. You don't find-- so it's big hotel is not easy.
The most important, actually, it's welcoming. When you come to the [? building ?] environment, you do not need to look for where you should go. Hotel is important. When you come inside, you must immediately see Reception. That's very important. Those places that you need, like airports, those places are stressful because you're looking for the place that you get to go.
And I think it's very important, when you come to the hotel, you have this very clear, with nature, with the sound of the nature, with the music, with the colorful, that welcoming you. And you feel you are relaxed, and you find where you should go. And this is important.
And then, next step, you must go to the elevator, probably, those big, large hotel. And you must find the hotel elevator. You don't need to ask people. People coming from different culture, different languages. So they must find themselves. They should not have people always disturb them-- where are you going?
No, the [? building ?] environment should communicate, should communicate with design, with the color, with the music, with senses, to guide us-- within the Reception, within the room, wherever they go in a highly complex building. And I think, beside of that, we should have a kind of services that-- I mean, nowadays, wellness, spa, music, and good food.
Food is part of experiences. And meetings. Usually we have the bar. We have those. But, again, how to design this environment is highly related to the quality of architects who understand the interaction between [? building ?] environment and people.
People matter. People matter, and design should be related to people. And that is missing in many school of architecture, teaching this direction.
Well, salutogenic design is highly related to these three components-- understandable, manageable, and meaningfulness. And these three components of what we call "sense of coherence," and sense of coherence, the degree of sense of coherence, is ability to manage stress. That's why it's important. And if we provide the salutogenic design that simply helps us to understand our surroundings.
And we can manage the [? building ?] environment. We have enough sign, enough resources to manage the [? building ?] environment. And, finally, it's meaningfulness within the building, that, rewarding our brain, whatever we do, pleasure, stimuli, all this help us to strengthen our sense of coherence. And we can measure sense of coherence, where we can find out people how to manage stress.
And if people manage stress, they feel good. Because, once you reduce stress, when one you manage stress, so you feel good. Your tension, your blood pressure, your cortisol level, heart rate-- all physiological-- you are in good shape. And, believe me or not, people traveling 30-hours' flight, they are both psychosocially but also physiologically, they don't feel good.
As you know, well, stress is a process. We can cut this process right through the interaction, through the stimuli that we get from our environment, through the psychosocial factor and stimuli from music, from color, from smell, from flowers, from nature, from all these what we see, from the art. What kind of art? And all these positive distraction we put it in the [? building ?] environment.
With the hospital, we can reduce stress. And we can provide salutogenic design that are understandable, that manageable, that also meaningful for our brain.
Many international firm, they are doing well. I mean, we [? saw ?] our International Academy Award in design and health, every year. I mean, we give the academy award to many successful projects in the world every year. And Melbourne Children's Hospital, which is the result of three international firms-- HKS, and two local from Australia-- they got five international prizes for salutogenic design. I mean, Trondheim Hospital, which came one of the best-- you were there. In Toronto, they received seven international prizes.
And these all jury. They are independent people from the professional. They are looking for the quality from the characteristics of salutogenic design and built for well-being. And I think hotel should also have kind of recognition for those qualities. They can build up actually academy awards for hospitality, design of hospitality. They can measure the quality of design, the quality interaction with the people, the quality of services in terms of spa, wellness, the quality of art, art within the hospitality. All these could be several category.
So I see very similarity between health-care design and hospitality. Actually, they can learn from each other. We can learn from each other, and we can increase the knowledge within these two field. And the synergy will be very, very successful outcome, both for hospitality and also for health-care design. We can learn from each other.
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Alan Dilani, Professor, Architect/Public Health, International Academy for Design & Health, was interviewed during the Cornell Hospitality, Health and Design Symposium, "In Search of a Healthy Future" on October 10, 2016.