Mental Health + Architecture

Wednesday, March 31, 2021


The Mental Health + Architecture panel discussion will address how architecture and design have an impact on personal and social mental health. This impact can be either negative or positive, and it is important for all architects to understand this, as it is critical to the design of our buildings, neighborhoods, and cities. This topic also supports AIA’s plan for urgent and sustained climate action, which includes an emphasis on design justice and equitable communities.

Mental wellness refers to our psychological and emotional health, but also encompasses the physical, social, occupational, spiritual, financial, and environmental aspects of our lives.

Bringing what has been learned from the Strategic Council’s Mental Health + Architecture Incubator Group to the local chapters, the panelists will briefly summarize the research and findings from 2020 while diving further into discussion topics, questions, and “where we are going” for our future.

This session touch on the COVID pandemic, healthcare, housing for veterans and disadvantaged communities, workplace and social isolation. We will discuss efforts to address mental health as it pertains to the built environment and the influence and responsibility of the architect in this relationship. Panelists will provide perspective on design and mental health with a backdrop of their work as well as aid the attendees in ways in which to employ or incorporate mental health mindsets into their designs. Let us look beyond the four walls of a building…

Learning objectives

  1. Develop a broader understanding of the relationship between mental health and design;
  2. Define ways in which our built environment impacts mental health,
  3. Discover ways to foster productive dialogue surrounding the mental health benefits of good design,
  4. Discern from leaders in the mental health research fields on way to improve our designs from this perspective; and
  5. Discuss community needs focused on access to mental health amenities and services, noting drivers and strategies to improve mental health in communities.

Date and time

Wednesday, March 31, 2021
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
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1.5 LU


AIA Georgia

Meet the panel


Emily Schickner, AIA
Emily Schickner, AIAHarrison Design
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Matt A. Finn, AIA
Matt A. Finn, AIACognitive Design
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Stephen Parker, AIA
Stephen Parker, AIASmithGroupJJR
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Amy Rosen, AIA
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Suman Sorg, FAIA
Suman Sorg, FAIASorg Architects
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