“Architects are public health workers.  We have a partnership—public health professionals and architects and planners.  Our minds have to talk because we have an influence on America’s public health that we’re only now beginning to grasp.”

Rear Admiral Boris Lushniak
Acting US Surgeon General 2014

The countless decisions architects make in public and private practice have health implications.  The first in a series of exhibitions demonstrating how architecture and design contribute to the quality of life in our communities, Building Fit focuses on the ways that well-designed environments can have positive impacts on health.  

The exhibit showcases design that encourages healthful activity, such as walking, bicycling, and taking the stairs. Projects from the New York CFA’s FitNation exhibit are displayed as well as projects located in Oregon or designed by Oregon architects.  The total exhibit shows how designers, planners and architects in partnership with clients, neighborhoods, health-focused organizations and public agencies can encourage physical activity and greater attention to health through the thoughtful design of the built environment.

Building Fit is a combination of exhibits, discussions and tours over this year and next exploring various health issues and providing opportunities to analyze and reflect upon how we design and build.  Continue exploring the CFA website to read more about upcoming events and to look at research documents and the topic of Building Fit in the news.

The Center for Architecture wants to thank the following who made significant in-kind contributions to this exhibit:


Research Documents:

Design & Health Topics
The American Institute of Architects

Designed to Move
NIKE, Inc.
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
The International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education (ICSSPE)

Green Health: Building Sustainable Schools for Healthy Kids
National Collaborative for Childhood Obesity Research
National Academy of Environmental Education

Local Leaders: Healthier Communities Through Design
The American Institute of Architects

Making the Case for Designing Active Cities
James F. Sallis, PhD, Active Living Research, University of California, San Diego
Chad Spoon, MRP, Active Living Research, University of California, San Diego

Use Patterns of a Healing Garden in a Pediatric Hospital
Kalina Vander Poel, Portland State University

Where the Sidewalk Ends
John Maternoski, Assoc. AIA, University of Oregon


In the News:

FitCity 10 Report Released on How Active Design Can Contribute to an Equitable City
Impact Design Hub
January 1, 2016

What Makes for Good Walkable Places?
Steve Hansen, Sourceable
November 26, 2015

The Fat City That Declared War On Obesity
October 13, 2015

Obesity Maps Put Racial Differences On Stark Display
Jane Greenhalgh, National Public Radio
September 23, 2015

The Economist
September 5, 2015

Architects Place Priority on Public Health for 2015
Amy Nordrum, Scientific American
December 15, 2014


Opening Night Reception:

The Opening Night Reception was held First Thursday, October 1, 2015.  The exhibit will be on display through December 18, 2015.

Opening Night Reception images courtesy of Tim Niou.



Banner image courtesy of PLACE