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Architecture through a public health lens

November 03, 2016 1:30 PM
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Liz Ogbu, Expert in Residence at the Phyllis M. Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking at Tulane University, will guide a seminar Monday (Nov. 7) titled “Design for Social Impact: Opportunities for Public Health.”

 

For those not in the field of architecture, the subject seems straightforward—tall skyscrapers, bridges and monuments. That’s all correct, but that’s not all there is to architecture and design.

Liz Ogbu challenges the idea that architecture is so simplistic. A graduate of Wellesley College and Harvard University, Ogbu puts her architecture degrees to work by involving herself in communities to create not buildings, but spaces. Ogbu takes the stories and needs of groups to create spaces for them, designing to benefit and improve the lives of those who use them. By working as a designer, she has touched public health areas such as maternal health, water and sanitation, and air quality.

“[It was an] opportunity to create transformation to the way people saw a particular type of space and saw a particular type of people,” Ogbu said of one of her projects in a TEDx Talk on the subject.

“[It was an] opportunity to create transformation to the way people saw a particular type of space and saw a particular type of people.”

Liz Ogbu

As an Expert in Residence at the Phyllis M. Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking, she also conducts workshops, class visits, and consultations for Tulane students.

On Monday (Nov. 7), Ogbu will lead a free, public seminar regarding architecture and public health at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, 1440 Canal St.

The seminar, “Design for Social Impact: Opportunities for Public Health”, is co-hosted by the Tulane Prevention Research Center, The Phyllis M. Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking and the Office of Academic Affairs.

Ogbu will explain how, by looking at architecture through a public health lens, one can create change for people and influence a culture, by creating more humane public spaces, extending health to everyone, and addressing health concerns.

Iman Naim is a graduate student in the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.