The Architects Foundation, along with the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), today issued its first progress report of the AIA’s Design and Health Research Consortium. The consortium helps translate research on design’s influence on public health into architectural practice for policymakers, design and public health professionals and the general public.

“Academia is always where basic research into any field grabs a foot-hold before inevitably thrusting itself into the commercial marketplace,” said Sherry-Lea Bloodworth Botop, Executive Director of the Architects Foundation. “Such is the case with the architecture profession’s influence on public health.”

The 2015 report covers consortium activities across a spectrum of research issues where design contributes to public health, from the effects of indoor temperatures on sleep deprivation and depression (University of Florida) to a “best design” competition for a mobile isolation treatment unit to combat the Ebola epidemic (Texas A&M University’s Center for Health Systems and Design.)

The issuance of the report comes as the Architects Foundation today also announced six new members of the consortium, which can be viewed here: http://www.aia.org/press/AIAB107728

“This AIA report documents the real-world impacts and applications that design can have on public health,” Bloodworth Botop said. “It will serve as the basis for our consortium fund-raising efforts on this issue in 2016 and is required reading for anyone preparing for the single biggest trend affecting the built environment.”

The major 2015 accomplishments of the eleven charter members of the AIA Design and Health Research Consortium include:

• Garnering almost $12 million for research connecting design and health;

• Development and offering of more than 90 university courses on design and health, preparing the next generation of leaders for the design-health movement;

• Holding 140 public events, including at AIA chapters nationwide, connecting almost 2,000 design professionals and community members with design solutions to foster public health.

“Consortium members are influencing both architectural education and practice,” said Michael Monti, Executive Director of ACSA. “Their work is leading to exciting connections between design and health that are fostering true change in both fields.”

The AIA has organized its design and health initiative around six evidence-based approaches that architects can use at the building and urban scale. These six approaches—environmental quality, natural systems, physical activity, safety, sensory environments, and social connectedness—recognize that the physical environment creates health opportunities and facilitates positive health behaviors.

See these six approaches to achieving health through built environment design & policy here:
http://www.aia.org/aiaucmp/groups/aia/documents/pdf/aiab104538.pdf

A copy of the entire report can be found here: http://architectsfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/2015_Progress_Report_Design_and_Health_Research_Consortium_v2.pdf


About the Architects Foundation

The Architects Foundation preserves, honors and advances excellence in design for the benefit of the public. As a nonprofit philanthropic extension of the American Institute of Architects, the Architects Foundation is the preeminent voice and advocate for architecture and design in America. The Architects Foundation is dedicated to the belief that good design is good for all and plays an essential role in transforming lives and building a better world.

About The American Institute of Architects
Founded in 1857, members of the American Institute of Architects consistently work to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through nearly 300 state and local chapters, the AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public wellbeing. Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards. The AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business as well as engaging civic and government leaders, and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit www.aia.org.