School of Design Hosts Health and Wellness Symposium at Lyric Theater
November 7, 2023
On Friday November 3, 2023, the School of Design hosted its 2nd annual Health and Wellness Symposium at the historic Lyric Theatre in downtown Blacksburg. The event began with students and faculty meeting the Hokie Bird. After remarks from Director of the School of Design, Matt Powers, and Dean of the College of Architecture, Arts, and Design, Lu Liu, health and wellness design professionals from each of the three programs spoke about their work.
Industrial Design was represented by Mary Beth Pirvitera, PhD, a Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Cincinnati specializing in medical device design and human factors. She discussed the importance of medical devices working with each other to help save lives, and detailed the development of SentiAR, a wearable command center that provides doctors with real-time heart and catheter imaging guidance during cardiac ablation procedures.
Landscape Architecture was represented by Shan Jiang, PhD, the Director of Research at GBBM Architects and distinguished researcher and educator with work in the areas of people-environment relationships, therapeutic landscapes, healthcare design, and sustainable communities. She discussed therapeutic landscapes in healthcare facilities, public open spaces for population health, and health equity and universal design. She focused on multiple research projects, including but not limited to: utilizing natural views to decrease stress when wayfinding in medical environments and the relationship between greenspace metrics and health status of rural Americans.
Interior Design was represented by Stefanie Locklear, resident interior designer for Virginia Tech specializing in the design process, concept development, and final implementation. She detailed the elements of interior design that she utilizes to make a space healthy, including natural materials, biophilia, lighting, color, ergonomics, personalization, ventilation, indoor air quality, and bonus spaces, with emphasis on two case studies: the Data and Decision Sciences Building and the Innovation Campus Academic Building I.
Following an intermission, students and faculty were presented with a Health and Wellness in Design presentation by Hokie Wellness, curated specifically for our School. There was the introduction of Flourish, a new collective of students, staff, and faculty that supports VT Principles of Community and champions health and wellness for the School of Design presented by Isabel Prochner, PhD, Assistant Professor of Industrial Design. The event concluded with the Virginia Tech Therapy Dogs as students, faculty, and staff left the theater. Thanks to the School and guest speakers for making this event possible.