Whether drafting a plan to help patients make healthier food choices or designing an electronic medical records system, the more public health professionals know about the personal preferences of those who will use the end product, the more likely the initiative will be successful, Patrick Whitney (pictured at right), told an overflow HSPH audience January 17, 2012 in Kresge G2.

Called a “design visionary” by Business Week, Whitney is dean of the Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology. He has published and lectured throughout the world on making technological innovations more humane, linking design and business strategy, and designing interactive communications and products. “People have varied aspirations and activities. Your offering has to fit their lives,” Whitney said in his talk, “Designing Healthy Lives and Other Wicked Problems.”

View a webcast of the lecture.

In his introduction, Dean Julio Frenk said he invited Whitney to deliver the first talk in the 2012 Dean’s Distinguished Lecture Series to encourage listeners to “think outside the conventional boundaries of public health.” While at HSPH Whitney also addressed students in a new course on innovations in public health taught by Gerald Chan, S.M. ’75, Sc.D. ’79.