Louisville Medicine Volume 67, Issue 10 | Page 18

INTERSECTION OF DESIGN & MEDICINE THE DESIGN OF WEL AUTHOR Ali Fa L-B rooqu EIN i, MD “I assume you know about Aruni’s work?” Gill Holland asked  as we sat down to meet over coffee. Despite being in the business of mental health, I admitted that I was regretfully unaware of the groundbreaking National Insti- tutes of Health funded research at the Uni- versity of Louisville, headed by Aruni Bhatnagar, looking at the impact of trees on public health. My response was further evidence of something I already knew: that I had no idea how living spaces and city planning impact mental health. I had asked to meet with Holland to learn more about his perspective on the intersection of mental well-being and design. Somewhat of a local expert on the topic, Holland is co-developer of The Green Building, an innovative space in NuLu that has revitalized a 120-year-old building. Holland 16 LOUISVILLE MEDICINE is a community builder, filmmaker and entrepreneur whose diverse background allows him to make intentional, calculated designs in urban planning. After chatting with him, I found there is much more than meets the eye when considering how city design impacts patient care and community well-being. Reponses to mental health care can at times be frustratingly variable, but I had never considered how architecture and design fit into the framework of our health system. The impression of my laymen friends is that the health care sector is dominated by authoritarian architecture and imposing facades, yet we expect our patients to feel valued and safe. I asked Holland how he felt his designs affected the mental health of the buildings’ inhabitants. His process was organic, originating from a desire to decrease our carbon footprint, while designing multipurpose spaces that were pleasant on the eyes. Initially, he wanted to build buildings that in his own words “looked cool” but