AIA Foundation, American Institute of Architects and Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture Launch Research Consortium on Design and Health

Request for Proposals Due October 15 For University-led Research

Washington, D.C. – Sept. 16, 2014 – The AIA Foundation, along with the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), today announced the establishment of the AIA Design & Health Research Consortium to help fund basic research into the growing influence design has on public health.

The consortium will be comprised of like-minded university teams consisting of experts in architecture and public health. AIA Foundation and its partners will work with consortium members to identify and develop opportunities for funded research, publication, and other resources in design and public health, with the idea that coordination and collaboration will benefit the consortium, its partners and the design and health professions.

The AIA Foundation has set a deadline of October 15, at 11:59 pm PDT for receiving qualification proposals from interested academic institutions. Selection of the schools will be made by late-November.

“In the last ten years, we have accepted that healthy places are sustainable places; that the optimal building of this century will be one that minimizes its ecological footprint while promoting human health and well-being,” said AIA Foundation Executive Director Sherry-Lea Bloodworth Botop. “This consortium will help lay the foundation for making this vision a reality.”

“Good design can improve our well-being, whether in our homes, schools, workplaces, or where we play,” said AIA CEO Robert Ivy, FAIA. “By careful consideration of the human condition and its surroundings, architectural design promotes well-being, mental health and performance.” 

The launch of the consortium is the latest effort by the AIA Foundation and its partners to expand the growing body of research into the design and health nexus. In April, the AIA Foundation, AIA, and ACSA held a design and health-focused summit attended by more than 100 design and public health officials. In June, the AIA and McGraw-Hill Construction announced a ground-breaking survey on the attitudes of architects, public health officials and human resource professionals on whether design techniques can make a difference in improving the health of the American public.

The AIA has organized its design and health initiative around six evidence-based approaches that architects can influence through design practices and policies at the building and urban scale.  These six approaches—environmental quality, natural systems, physical activity, safety, sensory environments, and social connectedness—recognize that the physical environment creates health opportunities and facilitates positive health behaviors. The AIA’s Design & Health Leadership Group (DHLG) has convened a research working group to manage the review of qualifications submitted by member candidates. Following an open request for qualifications, the working group will recommend up to ten members working across these six research areas.

Over a three year period, the AIA Foundation and its partners will provide institutional support and capacity building for inaugural consortium members to promote collaboration through local and national partnerships; enable the sharing of knowledge through private listserv activity, conference calls, and face-to-face events; and provide a new portal on for Members to share research activity. Whenever appropriate, the AIA Foundation and its partners will promote the activities of the consortium with potential funders.

The full Request for Qualifications, application form, and other resources are available here:

About AIA Foundation
The AIA Foundation preserves, honors and advances excellence in design for the benefit of the public.  As a nonprofit philanthropic extension of the American Institute of Architects, the AIA Foundation is the preeminent voice and advocate for architecture and design in America.  The AIA Foundation is dedicated to the belief that good design is good for all and plays an essential role in transforming lives and building a better world.

About The American Institute of Architects
Founded in 1857, members of the American Institute of Architects consistently work to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through nearly 300 state and local chapters, the 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. The 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. Visit

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 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.

John Schneidawind
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