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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Architecture Cardio

I remember being in Design Studio a few semesters ago and one of the "jury" architects during a design review made a major issue of a fellow students placement of stairs. He brought up lots and lots of different reasons why and why not to put the stairs where they were. He did not bring up this reason though...

"Architects can participate in the cultural fat fight by making simple changes to the design and location of staircases within buildings, say medical researchers.

"Changing stair design to encourage their use requires a set of interventions on both architectural and legislative levels to create physical environments that support active living," according to an article in the June issue of Southern Medical Journal.

Research suggests that light to moderate physical activity is effective in motivating people who are currently inactive and obese. The authors of the research, led by Ishak A. Mansi, M.D., of Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, point out that ordinary daily physical activity contributes the most to total energy expenditure.

But current approaches to stair design pose a problem, they say. "Stairs are frequently hidden from entrances, with only small signs denoting their locations, typically in connection to the fire exit."

Simple interventions can encourage people to take the stairs. For example, a study performed at a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention building found that playing music in stairwells and displaying motivational signs significantly increased the use of stairs. These and other measures to make stairs attractive, safe, and readily accessible could help to make buildings more "physical activity-friendly," the authors write. They suggest several ways to make stairs more inviting, including widening them, lowering the stair tread height, and adding music, lighting, and air conditioning to stairways..." Read More...

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Hmmm... We have programs that simulate light, energy, heat, sound, structure, and so on... I wonder if we could create a program that would simulate how people would react and interact with out intelligent building model? Autodesk PeopleTect? BIS - Building Information Simulation? BIMulation?

I coin the idea if someone writes the program!