Point of Decision Design: Designing for Health Where it Matters

Leverage research in concert with the point-of-decision framework to promote health and wellness through design.


Health and Wellness is an integral part of our everyday lives and should be carefully considered in environmental design and planning. Therefore, it is important for design professionals to understand the factors that can influence lifestyle decisions and how environmental design can nudge such decisions to be more healthy. This course will leverage research specific to higher education but can be applicable to many other sectors such as residential, workplace, school, urban design, etc.

The point-of-decision framework - the same one used by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prevent tobacco use and to encourage physical activity - can be used to identify when students make key decisions regarding diet and movement. Using this research and a visual design guide, you will identify design ideas for the key points of decision and prioritize the ideas that are most likely to promote health and wellness.

This research was supported, in part, through the AIA Upjohn Research Initiative.

Learning objectives

  • Explain how the design of the built environment can impact diet and activity and how the point-of-decision framework can promote health.
  • Create a journey map for students - a day in the life of a student that identifies key points of decision regarding diet and movement.
  • Select design initiatives that will promote health-based decisions at key points.
  • Prioritize design initiatives to implement immediately and determine which initiatives should be implemented in the future.
User rating:
Average: 3.9 (54 votes)
 $45  non-member
 $30  member
1.00 LU
  • HSW
  • RIBA


  • Greiving Headshot

    Thom Greving

    AIA, LEED Green Associate

    Principal and Regional Design Director | HKS Los Angeles

    A Principal and Regional Design Director with HKS Architects in Los Angeles, Thom Greving is driven...
  • Hoelting Headshot

    Melissa Hoelting

    Assoc. AIA, WELL AP

    Design Researcher, Information Designer, Storyteller | CADRE

    Melissa is a design researcher, information designer, and storyteller with experience in...
  • Nanda Headshot

    Upali Nanda


    Principal and Director of Research | HKS

    Dr. Upali Nanda is a Principal and Director of Research at HKS, a global architecture firm where...