Throughout history, architecture has been used for more than the mere design of shelter and other structures. It has become a form of art in itself, allowing creators to express themselves or their communities through the unique design of their structures. Looking back, we can even identify the time period in which any building was erected, based on its design and the materials used. Now, Robert Ivy,the AIA chief executive officer, explains how architecture is also used to promote and improve public health.

Robert Ivy On The Health Benefits Of Architecture

Speaking about the benefit to public health in the design of buildings and landscapes, Ivy points out that the United States has always used architecture to help its people. Melding art with functionality can be seen as early as the draining of the swamps of Washington, D.C., says Robert. He adds that something similar was done in creating the Olmsted design for New York City’s Central Park.

Central Park is an especially poignant example, points out the American Institute of Architecture CEO. In designing the park, New York City officials wanted to eliminate the substandard housing that populated the area and improve that more impoverished part of the city. Ivy says the goal was really not to create a recreational area, but to create better, healthier conditions in the area.

Robert Ivy Says Architecture Can Be Used To Treat Common Illnesses

Designing structures and landscapes isn’t just about improving poor neighborhoods, either. Mr. Ivy says architecture can be (and has been) used to force people to live healthier lifestyles. By designing sites to maximize walking, architects help reduce risks of diabetes and heart disease within a community.

Additionally, details such as proper ventilation and a clean water supply force architects to consider the basic human necessities in every design. Along with environmental concerns, the AIA chief executive officer says every design must adhere to safety and health requirements.

“…it’s important to keep in mind that basic design principles already force architects consider health every day: we take into consideration how buildings have access to sunlight, fresh air, clean water.”

Architecture provides for a long-lasting representation of our society and the era in which each structure or landscape is designed. More importantly, however, it helps us to help one another live lives that are both happier and healthier. The next time you visit your local courthouse or library, pass on the elevator. Take the stairs and take the time to appreciate the building’s design and its devotion to enhancing the human experience.