We are very excited to welcome you to the Summer 2016 edition of the NPHR. In this issue we focus on the impact of design on public health. While design historically takes a back seat during public health conversations, relegated to the tool shed, good design has often served as the inflection point towards a successful public health campaign—from John Snow’s 1854 Cholera epidemic control in London to global Ebola messaging campaigns in 2015.
The perception and experience of design often means different things to different people; it can be artistic, aesthetic, fashionable, or purposeful. Furthermore, design can cover a broad range and scope of applications from creating beautiful living communities to skillfully crafting an effective message to reach a target audience. Every moment of our lives is influenced by design—accidental or intentional, consciously or unconsciously. Remarkably, we rarely recognize the integral role of design in our lives until we encounter very bad design, such as a street sign pointed in the wrong direction.
In this summer issue, we pause to ask: how does design impact public health and can we improve public health through better design? Our contributing authors take a broad look at how design impacts health choices, city planning, and automobile safety among other issues. While these essays only address a tiny sliver of the broad scope of designs that impact public health, we hope they plant seeds of curiosity for readers to seek out design and recognize the impact of good design in our lives and communities. It is only when we notice the designs that impact our lives, communities, and health that we can work to improve them.
We want to thank all our collaborators, contributors, and sponsors for supporting us through another beautiful volume. We specifically want to thank the UIC Biomedical Visualization Program for partnering with us again to illustrate this issue.
Claire Vernon and Osefame Ewaleifoh