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The Path to Health and Happiness
Health is a design issue
Posted on August 1, 2023 @ 5:42PM

Health and happiness cohabit in a powerful alliance. It is a close partnership; one does not fare well without the other.

Neither just happens. Both require attention, both require work. To this simple rule, no exceptions are allowed, no excuses are granted. There are no shortcuts. Anything that presents as such is inevitably a Devil's deal - and of course, the Devil never loses on a deal. Wealth does not afford a pass; it can smooth the path in many ways, but it does not eliminate the work requirement.

Those are the facts, at least as we see them. There is nothing judgmental or righteous here; this is simple pragmatism. Moreover, it is gratitude, for there is nothing that says the work of happiness and health can not or should not be enjoyable.

For the athlete, motion becomes transcendent embodied pleasure. For the lover, intimate nurturing offers deeply soothing fulfillment. For the artist, creating returns joyfully expressive gratification. All of these things are, in their own ways, examples of work in direct service to health and happiness.

Professional design is wonderful work, and in my experience it shares elements of these and other examples, making it an intensely gratifying endeavor - both for me and for my clients. Design is also highly personal and productive work, in that it clarifies choice. Design is to a large extent about deciding what matters.

As architects, we believe health is a crucial design issue... and that it is important to consciously prioritize and proactively work toward a healthy built environment. Again, this is not something that just happens on its own. Much like our own health or positive state of mind, a healthy environment is achieved with thoughtful intention, willful choice and conviction. 

As architects, we believe It is not possible to create toxin free environments without leaving behind the toxic conventions of mainstream construction.  That is a larger challenge than meets the eye, pretty much by definition, but we are committed to making progressively meaningful advancements across our practice.

Author: Sam Rodell

Sam has practiced as an award winning architect for forty years, and has also built many of his clients' projects.  He is licensed throughout most of the western USA and Canada, and is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) which expedites registration in other states and provinces. He was the first Certified Passive House Consultant architect in eastern Washington and northern Idaho.