Architects Launch Ten-Year Commitment to Make Design a Catalyst for Public Health


American Institute of Architects EVP and Chief Executive Officer Robert Ivy, FAIA, Unveils Annual "Decade of Design" Awards at Clinton Global Initiative Conference

NEW YORK, Sept. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Institute of Architects (AIA) today announced a ten-year commitment to develop design and technology solutions for cities that address challenges faced on public health, sustainability, and resiliency to natural disasters. AIA EVP and Chief Executive Officer Robert Ivy, FAIA, announced the Commitment to Action at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting, where more than 1,000 global leaders are gathering to address the theme, "Designing for Impact."

"This commitment by the AIA represents an all-out effort to demonstrate the link between building design and the health of building occupants," said Ivy. "And it will enable us to bring the force of design to bear in the public health arena and debate."

The commitment by the AIA involves both monetary and "in-kind' contributions and features three initiatives:

  • University research on solutions-based outcomes. Three university-based projects have been selected for year-one funding that demonstrate the importance of design on public health. In addition, the 2013 Latrobe Prize through the AIA College of Fellows will fund research that aligns with this commitment.
  • Community Planning Process. The AIA will mobilize interdisciplinary university teams engaged with community and professional partners in one of the world's largest cities to address complex problems using design thinking and technology innovation.
  • Show Us Your APPtitude hackathon. The hack-a-thon, in which computer experts gather to come up with the most creative app or technology based solution to a given need or problem, springboards from the community planning process by providing related design and technology solutions.  Students and other participants from a variety of disciplines will have the opportunity to compete for a prize that recognizes achievable, inventive solutions.

The recipients of the first-ever Decade of Design research grants are:

  • Texas A&M University  – Evaluating Health Benefits of Liveable Communities: Toolkit for measuring the health impacts of walkable communities, validated with an empirical study of a LEED for Neighborhood Development project in Austin.
  • University of ArkansasFayetteville 2030: Creating Food City Scenario Plan: The study of planning possibilities and design solutions for creating a local food infrastructure while accommodating a quickly growing population.
  • University of New Mexico – Establishing Interdisciplinary Health-Architecture Curriculum: Pilot program to develop a framework for implementing a three-year interdisciplinary program for addressing health issues in local neighborhoods.

These research projects launch the AIA's long-term commitment to advance public health through design in the United States and beyond. As communities across the globe face increasingly complex challenges to their quality of life, the AIA will work with other partners within the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) to find innovative solutions. Partners and sponsors already signed up include the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) and the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI).

The AIA expects to announce additional sponsors in the near future.

Follow the live webcast this Monday 24 September

About The American Institute of Architects
For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. Members adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct to ensure the highest standards in professional practice. Embracing their responsibility to serve society, AIA members engage civic and government leaders and the public in helping find needed solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit

About the Clinton Global Initiative
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world's most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date CGI members have made more than 2,100 commitments, which are already improving the lives of nearly 400 million people in more than 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $69.2 billion.

CGI also convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States, and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at

About The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture
The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture is a 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. ACSA, unique in its representative role for schools of architecture, provides a forum for ideas on the leading edge of architectural thought. Issues that will affect the architectural profession in the future are being examined today in ACSA member schools. The association maintains a variety of activities that influence, communicate, and record important issues. Such endeavors include scholarly meetings, workshops, publications, awards and competition programs, support for architectural research, policy development, and liaison with allied organizations.

About Rocky Mountain Institute
Rocky Mountain Institute is an independent, entrepreneurial, nonprofit think-and-do tank. RMI emphasizes integrative design, advanced technologies, and mindful markets in fulfilling its mission to drive the efficient and restorative use of resources. RMI's strategic focus is to map and drive the U.S. transition from fossil fuels to efficiency and renewables by 2050. Visit for more information.

Contact: John Schneidawind

SOURCE American Institute of Architects

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