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BAC Launches Program in Design for Human Health

Master of Design Studies in Design for Human Health will train design professionals to think about dimensions of health and well-being

Dak Kopec, director of Design for Human Health, presenting at Change City

Dak Kopec, director of Design for Human Health, presenting at Change City

The BAC is pleased to announce the launch of a Master of Design Studies in Design for Human Health (MDS-DHH), a new degree program designed to provide students with the knowledge to assess and design private, public, and community environments based on the human dimensions of physical activity, cognitive performance, and psychological well-being.

This program (available for the Fall 2014 semester) is a post-professional graduate degree based on a low-residency model that provides students with specialized knowledge and skills related to the design of the built environment and landscapes for the explicit purpose of preserving human health. The MDS-DHH utilizes an interdisciplinary approach that merges biological and social sciences with design skills that will better serve those who have suffered a traumatic injury, have been compromised as a result of disease or chronic illness, or have diminished capabilities as a result of natural human development or aging processes.

"There is an increased global awareness of how design can improve human health," said BAC President Ted Landsmark. "To enhance how The Boston Architectural College's graduates, faculty, firms, and communities can learn more about the positive effects of design studies on human well-being, the BAC has retained the services of Dak Kopek to develop and lead a new multi-disciplinary program in this emerging field. Boston is home to renowned health providers and great firms whose designs have improved health conditions around the world. Dak Kopec and the BAC are drawing upon this deep expertise to develop the only comprehensive health improvement design program in the Northeast, with roots in the diverse bodies of knowledge found in architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, and design studies."

Dak Kopec joins the School of Design Studies at the BAC as the director of Design for Human Health. Dak holds a doctorate degree in environmental psychology with a concentration in perception and design, and two master's degrees, one in architecture and another in community psychology. Dak has published several journal articles and three books: Environmental Psychology for Design; Health, Sustainability and the Built Environment; and Evidence Based Design: A Process for Research and Writing.