AIA adds four members to Design and Health Research Consortium

Washington, D.C.  January 29, 2018– The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) today named four more universities as members of the AIA-ACSA Design & Health Research Consortium.

The new members are the Illinois Institute of Technology, the University of South Florida, Cornell University's Institute for Healthy Futures and North Carolina State University.

These four teams join an existing network of 19 university teams dedicated to researching the link between health outcomes and design interventions. The AIA-led consortium helps translate this research into architectural practice for design and public health professionals, policy makers and the general public.

"Since 2015, this multi-disciplinary community of researchers has applied more than $31 million toward research, published more than 100 papers and participated in nearly 400 public symposia, community workshops and local AIA events," said American Institute of Architects CEO Robert Ivy, FAIA. "Their work has subsequently opened the door for new research-focused partnerships between schools and major design firms."

"These new members will add to a growing body of knowledge that is influencing our thinking and developing policies that underscore the built environment's role in improving public health,"" said Ivy.

Here’s a look at each new consortium member's research activities:

  • Illinois Institute of Technology. The diverse team blends expertise in rehabilitation psychology, architecture and engineering to conduct empirical research on mental and physical health in the built environment. Specifically, the team plans to further examine the associations between indoor environmental quality and the productivity, health and well-being of occupants.
  • University of South Florida. Researchers at the Florida Center for Community Design & Research and USF College of Public Health will focus on the Tampa Bay region’s urban resiliency opportunities. Research will leverage transportation, infrastructure, smart growth principals and institutional logics to evaluate opportunities for bolstering population health factors through improved built environment design initiatives.
  • The Cornell University Institute for Healthy Futures is the first academic center in the country to combine hospitality, architectural and environmental design, and health policy and management into a broad-based platform to improve service in healthcare, wellness and senior living. Current research projects include the impact of the physical environment on mental health, design goals for hospice care, tools that measure human behavior and means of supporting wellness and sustainability in hospitality settings.
  • North Carolina State University. As a Land Grant and Extension institution, NCSU actively engages citizens statewide on issues of design, sustainability and community health and engagement. Investigators are exploring health in a variety of scales, from childhood environments to reduce obesity, to access to greenways in planning, to health strategies for rural communities. Recently, their team from the College of Design and College of Natural Resources was funded to examine how privately funded multifamily development projects are investing in public health initiatives.

"These new members add depth to the collective work of the consortium, particularly in areas of physical activity and workplace productivity," Michael Monti, ACSA Executive Director said. "Their work will translate findings for practice and add rigorous research that others can build on.”

Over a three-year period, the AIA and its partners will provide institutional support and capacity building for the new consortium members, promoting collaboration through local and national partnerships and enable knowledge-sharing through conference calls and face-to-face events.    

About The American Institute of Architects

Founded in 1857, The American Institute of Architects consistently works to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through more than 200 international, state and local chapters, 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. 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.

About the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture

ACSA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, membership association founded in 1912 to advance the quality of architectural education. The school membership in ACSA has grown from 10 charter members to over 250 schools in several membership categories. These include full membership for all accredited programs in the United States and government-sanctioned schools in Canada, candidate membership for schools seeking accreditation, and affiliate membership for schools for two-year and international programs. Through these schools, over 5,000 architecture faculty members are represented. In addition, over 500 supporting members composed of architecture firms, product associations and individuals add to the breadth of interest and support of ACSA goals. Visit www.acsa-arch.org.  

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