In the past, Architects role in promoting health was through designing a building that has access to sunlight. But today there are more issues faced by society. Chronic illnesses like diabetes and obesity are a threat to America’s health. How then can Architects change such matters? Through design, thinking says Robert Ivy.
Robert Ivy who is the chief executive officer and executive vice president of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) believes that architects designs and planning have an impact on health. The head of AIA which is currently at 87,890 members is coming together with other members to advocate for physical exercise, proper sunlight, redesigning public parks for the well being of the citizens. He seeks to educate the public through creating awareness of choosing to use the stairs while going to the office or home for increased physical activity.
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The AIA is on a ten-year plan from 2012 to come up solutions on how to build sustainable and resilient buildings for the well of the public. Involving institutions of learning to offer architectural courses that are focused on design health is crucial. The number of bachelor degrees that focus on sustainable designs needs to increase in the universities. As such, it is granting university funds to research the same. It is also sensitizing architects on choosing raw materials that will build a healthy system. It is estimated that the world’s population will rise to 9.8 billion in 2050 according to the United Nations. With the planets, limited resources more need to be done to promote sustainability.
Some of the institutions participating in the combination of both design and public health are; College of Architecture at Texas Tech University will be offering a Master of Science in Architecture with a specialty in Design and Health. A course on the effects of structures on health is being offered at the Harvard University Chan School of Public Health. In a few years, we will see a new generation of professionals who will be focused on solving the actual problems facing society.
Robert Ivy Fala has a Masters of Architecture from Tulane University. He also has a BA in English from the University of the South. While working as the Editor in Chief at the Architectural Record, the magazine won several awards such as the General Excellence under the American society of magazine editors. He published his book Fay Jones: Architect in 2001. Fay Jones: Architect is now in its third edition. In 2010 he was named the Master Architect by Alpha Rio Chi the National Architecture Fraternity. He is currently a member of advisory boards in different schools; Tongji University School of Architecture and Urban Planning in Shanghai China, Auburn University’s Rural Studio, Tulane University, and Mississippi state university.