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AIA Small Project Design (SPD) Knowledge Community supports, celebrates, and promotes small projects by engaging designers and the public.

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Enriching and enhancing our clients' lives through architecture

  • 1.  Enriching and enhancing our clients' lives through architecture

    Posted 04-12-2018 17:58

    I'm looking for articles, books, videos, documentaries, any kind of resource that will help shed light on the myriad ways that our buildings and spaces can positively impact and shape how we (as in humanity) live, work, worship, and play.  I'm trying to broaden and deepen my understanding of how the work we do as architects can enrich and enhance our clients' lives.  This encompasses a broad range of potential topics including physical and psychological health, the performance of individuals and groups, and beyond.  I'd love to get your recommendations.  


    Kendal W. Perkins

    Architect, AIA, MBA

    Apex Architectural Services, LLC

    Natchitoches, LA 


  • 2.  RE: Enriching and enhancing our clients' lives through architecture

    Posted 04-13-2018 17:34
    Hi Kendal,

    Have you looked at the Center for Health Design as one possible avenue?  They have several articles and studies about the design of healthcare buildings and how it impacts patient recovery, staff safety and satisfaction, therapeutic environments, etc.  They offer a certification called "Evidence-Based Design Accreditation and Certification (or EDAC)" which promotes the ideas that design decisions should be based on research and data supporting specific goals identified by key stakeholders (such as reducing patient falls, minimizing staff injuries, increasing patient satisfactions, increasing doctor-patient iterations).

    Their website is:

    The EDAC information is under the "Certification and Outreach" Tab

    Hope this helps!

    James Hall Assoc. AIA
    Kezlo Group LLC

  • 3.  RE: Enriching and enhancing our clients' lives through architecture

    Posted 04-16-2018 10:08
    Hello Kendal

    The wording in the opening of your posted request infers a limit on what architects do to making "buildings and spaces” for “clients". I would gently and respectfully remind you that architects must always present themselves as "experts of aesthetics". If we, as architects, are going to influence people's lives, why limit our expressive endeavors to buildings, spaces and working for clients? I can cite historic examples where architects distinguished themselves as photographers, graphics designers, potters, furniture designers, city planners, stage set designers, textile designers, water colorists, curators, educators, inventors, communicators... the list goes on and on. While I agree that the Architect must be seen as Master Builder, why limit the product of our profession to buildings and spaces?

    I am writing to you here only in support of what I understand it is that you are setting out to do. You are hitting on important stuff for our SPP committee which, by the way, does an excellent job to ensure that AIA keeps a broad perspective by recognizing the small scale gesture with its stunning Small Project Awards.

    Karl Friedrich Schinkel, the 19th century German architect, is known for designing a bridge, a stage set for an opera, garden benches, the Iron Cross military medal, all seen among dozens of buildings and spaces with vast cultural significance. Eileen Grey designed a great glass table. Michelangelo designed uniforms for the Swiss Guard. We are all sitting on chairs from Charles and Ray Eames. All these examples exhibit how we architects must spread out and work in small scale ways to influence people's lives, beyond limiting ourselves to only "buildings and spaces”.