Robert Ivy, Changing America’s Health Through Architecture

America’s health is the talk of many medical practitioners today. What can be done to make the citizens of this beloved country healthier? Today, 35% Americans are obese and 35% are overweight. This has been brought about by the unhealthy eating habits many have developed and the culture of not exercising that many have fallen into. In as much as nutritionists have done their best to educate the masses on eating healthy, little has been done to encourage the people on exercising. True, gyms have opened up around every corner, but what if one has no time or money to register in one and regularly exercise?

The architectural society is teaming up with the medical society to help make America healthier. Architects realize that they cannot teach people on how to eat or what diets to avoid but they can build buildings that encourage people to live healthy lifestyles. Exercise forms an integral part of healthy living. Therefore, by creating buildings and landscapes the encourage activities like jogging, bicycle riding and other exercise the architectural community goes a long way in helping people living healthier lives. The methods architects are using to achieve this today were not possible a generation ago. For this reason, the architectural community is now investing in the education of architects; to sharpen their skills so that every building they design have the health of the people in mind.

The American Institute of Architects is now working with several learning institutions to come up with curriculums that equip architectural students with medical knowledge that will help them design buildings that help their users avert chronic diseases. Under the leadership of Robert Ivy, the American Institute of Architects has seen College of Architecture at Texas Tech University come up with a curriculum that offers their students Master of Science in Architecture with Specialization in Design and Health, Thomas Jefferson University teach design thinking to its medical students and Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health teach its students the impact buildings have on the health sustainability and productivity of its users.

The steps taken by the education, medical and architectural sector has seen many students request their colleges to teach them on how to design buildings that improve public health. This is one step closer to raising a generation of architects who will come up with building designs that encourage people to live healthier lifestyles. This, in addition to the effort made by the medical society to educate the masses on eating and living healthy, America has hope of being a healthy nation once again.

Before becoming the CEO of the American Institute of Architects Robert Ivy, has been the editor in chief for the architectural record, an architectural journal that is dedicated to communicating to its audiences the trends in design and their importance. Under his leadership, the journal won several awards for its excellent work in presenting architectural beauty to its audiences.


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