Published: 01/05/2022

/ Faculty Projects

Design and Health at Taubman College

The students and faculty in the Design + Health group at Taubman College study the intersection of health and design. We interpret this nexus broadly both in terms of subject matter and scale; we look at wearable devices, furniture and ergonomics, immersive spaces and XR, hospitals and other institutional buildings, and urban design. Our motivation is to increase accessibility, inclusion, equity, and alterity in the face of many current and historical examples of design-driven health inequality, redlining, disabling urban environments, and institutional facilities that lack access to natural light.  Our group is concerned about the gaps between quantitative analysis and lived experience, and we think architecture and design has an urgent need to close these gaps. 

This inherently interdisciplinary work is pursued by Design + Health faculty with a wide range of background and research interests, including commercial hospital design, disability culture, surgery, and architecture history. Interested students can take a wide variety of courses within Taubman College including studios, history electives, and elective seminars, or enroll in courses through allied schools, such as the School of Public Health. We are an inclusive community and welcome a range of questions, participations, and pursuits.

The Covid-19 pandemic has foregrounded the health impact of the spaces we occupy. The HVAC system that might be spreading pathogens matters in a new way. The cramped and lightless room that weakens our mental health seems more consequential amidst the “anthropological shock” of the shutdowns. Though the impact of these design choices has always been there, it is now more apparent than ever that design can change health, for better and for worse.


Featured Fall 2021 Courses


ARCH 409/509 – Health by Design 

ARCH 509 – Speculative Code: Building Code, Social Equity, and Alternative Futures

ARCH 609 – Disability Studies 

URP 544 – Behavior and Environment

URP 552 – Healthy Cities: Planning and Design 

URP 583 – Race, Difference, and Social Justice



Student Work


(cover photo)

Health By Design Class Website 

Projects from Masters program 



Bon Ku Event

Medical School + Taubman Library Annex: Redesigning Hospitals to Optimize Performance (October 29th, 2021)

Additional Programming



Health & Design Fellowship: Two year fellowship designed to trained architects in rigorously quantitative analytics and econometrics to handle to large datasets with the ultimate goal to evaluat and improve our design.…

Health and Design Quantitative Lab Meeting (Wednesdays, 1pm): weekly meeting where students fellowship present their research-in-progress for collaborative feedback. Contact to attend

Health and Architecture CrossRoads (Tuesday, 4pm): multidisciplinary weekly meeting to organize and coordinate health and design events, contact Maya Fraser to attend


Featured News and Projects


U-M Poll Involving Nanda, Ibrahim Shows Inequality among Older Adults’ Ability to Isolate a COVID-19-positive Person…


Joy’s Book:


Public Press Publications:


Andrew / Fast Company:

Post-COVID Hospital Design:…

Designers Share their Secrets:…

Healthcare Workforce Burnout – whats the role of architecture?…

Rethinking Medical Education after COVID:…




Robert Adams Upali Nanda Joy Knoblauch Andrew Ibrahim