An international symposium is set to take place in Melbourne exploring global perspectives on enhancing health, wellbeing and quality of life by design.

Design & Health Australasia 2011 is being held from 2-4 May 2011 and is organised by the International Academy for Design and Health, a global not for profit organisation dedicated to advancing the role of design in health promotion.

The event follows on from the recently held Patient-Centred Design Forum in Sydney.

The upcoming symposium will pick up on the ‘salutogenic approach’ to health and public infrastructure development that aims to focus on a more holistic understanding of healthy environments.

According to the organising committee, Australasia is undergoing a policy shift that is recognising the need to redesign its health systems to embrace health promotion and embed a preventative approach based on better education, evidence and research.

They maintain that: “As health reform gathers pace and major capital investments being made in healthcare facilities come to fruition, a new paradigm is required that values the designed environment as one of the most cost-effective and enduring approaches to addressing the public health challenges ahead.”

The highly qualified and experienced panel of speakers from around the world including James Grose, National Principal of BVN Architecture who will address the topic ‘The role of architecture in creating identity’ by presenting the Brain and Mind Research Institute in Sydney’s Camperdown (pictured) that was awarded the Best Health Building in the World award at the World Architecture Festival in Barcelona last year.

Headline speaker at the symposium dinner is Dr Elizabeth Farrelly who will revisit the themes of her book ‘Blubberland’ and talk about the connection between architecture, health and happiness.

The Symposium will be introduced by the world renowned researcher, Professor Alan Dilani, founder of the International Academy for Design and Health who has been engaged worldwide in the field of design and health developing Psychosocially Supportive Design Programmes in both medical and design institutions.

The Symposium is supported by the Department of Health Victoria, Queensland Health, NSW Health Infrastructure and the Australasian College of Health Service Management.

The International Academy for Design & Health are also the organisers of the 7th Design & Health World Congress in Boston, from 6-10 July, partnering the American Institute of Architects and featuring world leading speakers from Harvard Business School, Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard School of Design and publishers of World Health Design magazine.

The Brain and Mind Research Institute (BMRI) for which BVN Architecture won the Health Category award at the World Architecture Festival in Barcelona.