Talieh Ghane researches the interaction between light and health at the California Lighting Technology Center. We talked about the biological vs. visual system of light, how to synchronize your circadian clock for better health, how light is like a drug, and why you shouldn’t be on your phone right before bed (guilty).
Public Health: The Latest Architecture and News
In support of World Toilet Day on November 19, SPARK Architects launched their prototype for a 3D printed toilet module titled, "Big Arse Toilet" alongside a slogan stating that "Sparks gives a sh*t." Though the pun-filled humor is definitely attention-grabbing, the project tackles serious issues of hygiene and sanitation as part of the UN initiative to eliminate open defecation by 2025. With the perpetuating cycle of malnutrition, disease, and poverty, poor sanitation is the leading cause in nearly a third of the deaths in low- and middle-income regions in several countries such as India.
Easily transportable, the toilet module converts human waste into biogas into electricity using a micro combined heat and power (CHP) unit. Essentially producing "free" energy, SPARK's proposal combats the issue of open defecation and uses the abundant natural waste in remote communities in Indian villages where there is low accessibility to electricity.
Did you know that tree-lined streets are proven to be beneficial to physical and mental health? So why not include them in health funding? The Nature Conservancy's new research demonstrates the number of reasons why this should be done.
Last month Harvard University’s School of Public Health re-launched their Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment, introducing new partnerships and a new director for the institutional home of Dr. Joseph Allen’s Healthy Buildings initiative. With the stated mission of “improving the lives of all people, in all buildings, everywhere, every day,” the Healthy Buildings Team is leading research on how today’s built environments impact the health, productivity, and well-being of the people who inhabit them; as well as how future buildings can help us live healthier lives.
In the interest of defining their terms and presenting their research in a way that audiences outside academia can understand and incorporate into their work, the Healthy Buildings team have released an exhaustive list that details the simple foundations of making a building healthy.
The 9 foundations for healthy buildings are as follows: