Dezeen Magazine

Therme Art presents a panel discussion on how to design healthy and happy cities

A panel of experts discussed how inclusive public spaces, access to nature and an appreciation of food can promote health and happiness for city dwellers in this panel discussion hosted by Therme Art and Dezeen.

The panel was organised in partnership with the British Council and was the fourth instalment of Therme Art's new initiative, Wellbeing Culture Forum, a programme of online discussions that explore the role of culture and art in urban environments.

Therme Art is the creative arm of the Therme Group and provides artworks to its spas and resorts around the world.

Therme Art presents a live panel discussion on the role of health in architecture
CEO of the Foundation of Future London, Maria Adebowale-Schwarte featured on the third session of Therme Art's Wellbeing Culture Forum.

Titled Architectures of Health and Happiness – the Gains of Collaborative Design, the session explored how architecture and urban planning in cities can help to make its inhabitants lead healthier and happier lives.

Panellists argued that public spaces that spark interaction between communities are one of the fundamentals of a happy city and discussed how to design them in order to be inclusive and accessible to all, in terms of race, gender, class, creed and ability.

The panel also argued that access to nature is essential to the health of urban populations, who often don't have access to green outdoor spaces, and stressed the need to place a higher value on food production and consumption as the thing that ties communities together.

The panel was co-moderated by the CEO and curator of Therme Art Mikolaj Sekutowicz and the British Council's director of architecture, design and fashion Sevra Davis.

Therme Art presents a live panel discussion on the role of health in architecture
The founding director of JA Projects, Jayden Ali, also joined the panel

On the panel was Jayden Ali, the founding director of JA Projects, an architecture and design practice whose work focuses on creating a dialogue between the built environment and society at large.

Maria Adebowale-Schwarte, the CEO of Foundation for Future London and Carolyn Steel, the author of Sitopia and Hungry City also joined the discussion.

The panel also featured Sian Griffiths, emeritus professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Mak Gilchrist, founding director of the Edible Bus Stop, a London-based design and architecture practice specialising in creating urban farming opportunities in public spaces.

Therme Art presents a live panel discussion on the role of health in architecture
The creative director of the Wellcome Trust, Ken Arnold, was also on the panel

The panel also welcomed biophilic designer Oliver Heath and Ken Arnold, creative director of the Wellcome Trust.

The talk was the fourth in a series of public discussions organised by Therme Art, the first of which featured Hans Ulrich Obrist, Frida Escobedo, Stefano Boeri and more and explored the relationship between art and architecture.

The second iteration featured a discussion about the value of live cultural events amidst global unrest with Es Devlin, Zoé Whitely and Marc Spiegler among others.

The third session featured a discussion with Sonia Boyce, Elvira Dyangani Ose and David Kohn and others about the role of art and culture in the built environment.