On December 14, a festive holiday lunch was held at Clydes in Gallery Place. The event, sponsored by the Women’s Leadership Initiative, included a presentation by Carolyn Rickard-Brideau, an architect and the Senior Partner and Office President of Little, a national architecture and design firm with an office in Arlington. Carol talked about her own career in the architecture field and how she moved from a project architect to a company manager. Carol also discussed her involvement with salutogenic design principles. According to Carol, salutogenic design focuses on the positive impact of design on human health. It’s a measurable aspect of design that can help a building’s inhabitants operate at their peak performance. Additionally, it can help them maintain physical and mental well-being, actually helping them lead healthier and potentially longer lives. It is the ultimate investment in people, in an architectural sense. Our bodies respond to cues in the environment, and much of what is designed today is giving our systems the wrong message.
As a design professional, Carol has spent the past six years studying and researching how the buildings she designs impact the health of their inhabitants. She studies relationship between architecture and neuroscience to gain a more complete understanding of the human body, specifically the brain, and how it responds to the environments that surround it. Salutogenic design is being endorsed in the design profession through vehicles like the Delos WELL Building Certification. This innovative initiative focuses not only on touchstone fairly common to the wellness industry, such as air, water, and light, but hones in on program elements associated with comfort, nourishment, fitness, and mind that will most likely be new concepts for people to associate with the built environment. Carol is one of the first certified WELL practitioners in the country and explained the concept to the assembled group.