Health and Design by Robert Ivy

     Robert Ivy is a Fellow with American Institute of Architects (AIA). He is also the Executive Vice President and the Chief Executive Officer of the prestigious AIA. The AIA Board of Directors appointed Ivy to his new position on the 1st of February 2011. Robert Ivy finished his Bachelors of Arts in English and his Masters in Architecture at the Sewanee University of the South and Tulane University respectively.

As the EVP and CEO of the American Institute of Architects, Ivy’s vision is for the better perception of the architect profession within the society, and the importance of design to address cultural, economic, political and social concerns as of the current times.

Robert Ivy has recently written an article about the problems plaguing the health of people from the United States. In his opinion, he said that the root of such issues stems from lack of exercise and the low standard of access to quality food. To assist in the mentioned health problems, architects have teamed up with health officials from different communities to implement a transformation that would motivate constituents to alter the lifestyle that they have been accustomed to.

The incorporation of architectural prowess to help reduce the increase of chronic diseases is done in the conversion of existing facilities within the community that can be renovated or transform into amenities that can motivate people to exercise regularly; or make use of the natural sunlight to assist students in the increase of their attention span while in school. The collaboration fostered between the architects and the health officials from the community as of the present is something that was not foreseen in the past.

The Cleveland MetroHealth Medical Center is an illustration of how architects and the city health officials worked in tandem. The Center was previously a hospital that provides traditional medical services for confined patients and out-patients. But as of late, the Center has been eyed to be transformed into an all-in-one health center for the community that will accommodate clinics, traditional in-patient care, music festivals, and seminars to mention a few. The purpose of the renovation is to motivate the Cleveland locals to change their lifestyles for the better.

Another example is the makeover done by landscape architect James Corner together with the Diller Scofidio + Renfro Architect Firm is the Highline that could be found in Manhattan’s Chelsea Neighborhood. The black steel columns of the railroad tracks were converted into braces to hold an elevated park, which functions as a town square, a promenade, and a botanical garden. The said park motivates people to walk and carry out other kinds of exercises.

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