Design is a Public Health Intervention

Perkins&Will’s podcast about the power of design arrives January 2022. In Series 1, hosts Monica Kumar and Dr. Erika Eitland dive into the Healthy Buildings Movement and why “design is a public health intervention.”


Unknown Speaker: What comes to your mind when we say the word “built environment?”

Many Speakers: Inhabit

Unknown Speaker: Built environment?

Unknown Speaker: Uh-huh

Unknown Speaker: Built environment…

Unknown Speaker: Oh someone else—hold on

Unknown Speaker: I—I don’t even really know where to go with that, I’m going to be completely honest with you.

Unknown Speaker: I have no clue.

Unknown Speaker: What, then, comes to your mind when we say, “healthy spaces?”

Many Speakers: Inhabit

Unknown Speaker: Is there a place where I can pursue, like social health? Where I’m like, with people, but also like walk or job or bike…

Unknown Speaker: Is it healthy foods, maybe?

Unknown Speaker: Balance…

Unknown Speaker: Collaboration.

Unknown Speaker: Definitely a blend of inside and outside.

Unknown Speaker: Impossible to have one—it’d have to be pollutant free. We’ve got all kinds of stuff in the air that you don’t see

[Music shifts]

Monica Kumar: Erika, I have to tell you something

Dr. Joe Allen: We’ve really been stuck in the sick building era

Erika Eitland: Hello, hello, Inhabit listeners! [Gasp] Monica! We have listeners right now!

Monica Kumar: Oh my god, do we have listeners?

Many voices: Inhabit is a show about power, power, the power of design

Alison Mears: I think we need to talk about total cost.

Jonsara Ruth: How much do we spend on just treating asthma in this country?

Monica Kumar: A lot of us don’t question the spaces we inhabit

Tracy Enger: We entrust our national treasure—our youth—to these buildings

Erika Eitland: But we’re here to tell you, you do have a voice in how your environment gets built

[Upbeat music]

Monica Kumar: I’m Monica Kumar

Erika Eitland: I’m Dr. Erika Eitland

Monica Kumar: I’m an interior designer

Erika Eitland: And I’m a Public Health scientist

Monica Kumar: At Perkins&Will, a global architecture and design firm

Erika Eitland: And this season, we’re going to go on a journey to define healthy spaces—and how we can harness the power of design to keep our buildings from making us sick

Monica Kumar: We’re gonna give you the science, some history, tell stories, we’ll give you numbers. And, we’ll talk to lots of different people—inside our industry, and outside.

Erika Eitland: Let’s get into it.

Many voices: Inhabit

Monica Kumar: Design is a Public Health Intervention.