The American Institute of Architects Collaborate with Professionals From Other Fields

     The American Institute of Architects (AIA), an organization with a worldwide membership of over 90,000 licensed architects encourages their members to be creative incorporating other fields in their creativity. The AIA announced at the recent Clinton Global Initiative’s annual meeting a ten-year commitment to expand its focus to include public health, sustainability and resiliency to natural disasters in their designs for urban development. The CEO of AIA, Robert Ivy elaborated further on that announcement when interviewed by Reena Jana, a correspondent for Smart Planet.

Robert Ivy explained that public health has historically been a focus of architects going back to the design of Washington where the swamps had to be drained before construction could begin. Again, when Central Park was designed, substandard housing was eliminated to begin the construction of a new recreational space in the center of Manhattan for thousands to have access to daily.

He also expressed how design enhances health. A building with stairs encourages exercise. A building with properly placed and functioning windows encourages access to clean flowing air. He stated that material choices are also fundamental in determining the health of the occupants. The architect’s choice of materials makes a difference in the health of the individuals and the masses. If the system is unhealthy, it can affect many people, so the goal is to cause no harm and if possible enhance health.

Robert Ivy clarified what the architect’s mantra was today, to promote the well-being of persons. Basically, architects have always concerned themselves with the design of spaces and the promotion of health, safety and welfare. Architects consider how their designs affect people’s physical and psychic well-being.

AIA is sponsoring a hackathon to engage the tech community. It is the hope that working together, both communities will discover ways to work together effectively. The hope is that the joint venture between architecture and tech of developing an app would make interacting with the public a more natural process and both tech and architecture would benefit by their increased exposure to the consumer.

One of the main skills architects learn to master is team coordination. Working across fields with professionals from other industries is right in the architect’s job description. Creating buildings requires being able to work with large teams of people who contribute to many facets of the building. AIA believes that with those strengths, architects have the skills to combine the efforts of people working together from multiple disciplines to build wonderfully diverse and healthy structures for mankind.