Dezeen Magazine

Kohler and Dezeen present a live panel discussion on wellbeing and healthcare

Dezeen teamed up with bathroom and kitchen specialist Kohler to host a live panel discussion exploring the relationship between wellbeing and designing for healthcare.

Called Wellbeing and Healthcare, the talk featured interior designer Tony Chi, architect Ryan Hullinger and Kohler's vice president of industrial design Lun Cheak Tan.

The panellists were joined by Dezeen's founder and editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs, who moderated the conversation.

Dezeen x Kohler
Bathroom featuring products designed by Kohler

The discussion launched Kohler's annual Perspective of the Year, a design concept that explores a selected theme for the duration of the year across architecture, design, art, fashion, business, lifestyle and more.

This year's theme, called Dimensions of Wellbeing, takes a look at the connection between physical spaces and personal wellbeing.

Its aim is to explore how people interact with space and how it responds to human needs, as well as how personal habits and hygiene affect mental, physical and spiritual health.

Dezeen x Kohler
Taps designed by Kohler

"There are so many crucial layers or dimensions to the concept of wellbeing, from meeting essential health needs in a space by incorporating clean materials and products, to a very cerebral idea of how every single interaction can influence our state of mind and our mental and spiritual health," said Tan.

The talk focused on the role of the bathroom and its importance in navigating everyday life.

"The bathroom is actually the hub for wellbeing," said Kohler's decorative design studio manager Erin Lilly.

"The wellbeing that we derive from our spaces we then carry with us throughout our day as we affect others through our interactions."

"In this way, we see the architect and designer's role as critical to creating greater health and happiness in our societies," she added.

In addition to exploring the intersection of wellbeing and healthcare, the panellists also discussed consumer relationships with technology, communities, infrastructure and their surrounding environment.

Tony Chi
Interior designer Tony Chi of Tonychi Studio

Chi is the founder of New York interior design practice Tonychi Studio, which he established in 1984.

The Taiwanese-born designer is known for his work in hospitality design, and has created interiors for hotel brands such as Rosewood Hotels, Four Seasons, and Ritz Carlton.

Chi has designed restaurants for chefs including Wolfgang Puck, Alain Ducasse and Michael Mina, and has additional experience as a restaurant owner and developer.

Ryan Hullinger
Architect Ryan Hullinger is a partner at NBBJ

Hullinger is a partner at international architecture firm NBBJ, where his work focusses on enhanced clinical performance and adaptable hospital design.

He has received numerous national design awards, including the top honours bestowed by Modern Healthcare in 2011 and Healthcare Design in 2012.

Hullinger has also been published in leading healthcare design journals and engineering, construction and design publications including Metropolis, Building Design & Construction, and Engineering News-Record.

Ryan holds a bachelor’s degree from Ohio State University and a master's in architecture from Columbia University.

Kohler vice president of industrial design Lun Cheak Tan
Kohler vice president of industrial design Lun Cheak Tan

Tan joined Kohler in 2013 as the design director of its Asia Pacific kitchen and bathroom arm, before moving to the brand's Wisconsin headquarters to become its vice president of industrial design in 2019.

Before joining Kohler, Tan worked as a design strategist at Dell Computers, and founded a Singapore-based design consultancy, with clients including Procter and Gamble, Sony and Hewlett Packard.

The talk was produced by Dezeen for Kohler, an international design brand founded in 1873, which specialises in bathroom and kitchen products.