4th UNS Conference : Health + Well-being

As architects, we are continuously developing a unique set of disciplinary tools to create and curate values of health and well-being in a building or an urban environment. A number of these tools, as well as their impact relative to user groups and scale, were discussed throughout the conference.

Programmatic inventiveness can deliver unexpected solutions out of a standard brief. In the case of Ponte Parodi , dual benefits were added – on a building/individual level and on the level of the community. This cross-fertilization resulted in benefits for other programs, as well as benefits for the project itself, thus adding to the well-being of the city, rather than competing with it.

“Quantifiable” (hard) and “intuitive” (soft) values were discussed in terms of technical requirements of a project and individual requirements or the subjective desire of users. Topics such as orientation or suitable environment for work were paired up with expertise in light, organizational and acoustic values. The end-result of such architectural interventions intends not only to provide optimum conditions for users, but to balance the ease of user comfort (a fully focused being), with making them fully aware of their environment (taking one out of such focus - the “Awe” moment). Well-being is thus understood as making possible a spectrum of functionalities and opposites, enabling one to meaningfully engage with the environment in a broad range of ways, suiting the needs of each individual at a specific moment.

The factor of user well-being and comfort was examined through lenses of different scales. Public accessibility and contribution to communal well-being was one of them, but additionally we were recognizing connections to the cultural scale. The Kutaisi Airport is an example of “easing” the entrance to a new country and an unfamiliar culture.

The ambition of continuing these discussions and the research on the human factor is to go beyond our slightly abstracted vision of the public. A possibility is to establish future collaborations with social scientists, psychologists and other related researchers, in an effort to make a stronger link between design and the thinking of the individual experience of architecture.

Posted by: Unstudio / Joerg Petri + Milena Stopic