Anna is developing the concept of Built environment enabling and encouraging health and fitness.
Health is one of the key components of the quality of life. Architects, Urban Designers and Planners are addressing this topic in many ways: increasing natural light, ventilation, green areas, cycle lanes, etc. In her work with Cambridge University she is concentrating on one of aspects of healthy living –
healthy, harmonious, various every-day slow mobility through urban environment.
Exercising regularly helps preventing and treating coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, renal
disease, type II diabetes, osteoporosis, certain forms of cancer, surgical trauma and obesity; plus depression and anxiety.
There is some evidence exercising might help with rheumatoid, chronic obstructive lung disease, low back problems, immune disorders and danger of falling. It also improves lipoprotein profile, preserves bone mass in elder bodies and enhances insulin sensitivity and cognitive function (Shephard 1995, Sherrington 2005, Sofi 2010, Garber 2011, Krogh 2011, Lee 2012)
According to UK transport statistics, 86% of population walks regularly for at least 10 min. Around 50%does not do any other type of exercise, which makes walking by far the most popular one in the country.
Existing UK built environment mostly encourages walking but limits it to very restricted unnatural type
of movement actively involving limited group of muscles by regulating out any uneven surfaces, high
steps, etc. (Garber 2011) Luck of distributed seats leaves out individuals with limited walking abilities. (MacDonald 1974) I believe there is a need and potential to improve the situation
Exercise is only effective if it fits to the abilities of the exercising person.
During lifespan most of us go through the curve of first increasing and then decreasing physical abilities, with occasional drops for pregnancy or trauma. When bones, muscles and heart are not loaded to their capacity the body stops
developing or degrades faster. Despite variety in people’s abilities, built
environment in most of countries is designed to only 2 standards
•A.Low walking ability (slopes up to 1:20, steps up to 170mm high)
•B. Transported by wheels (wheelchair or baby-buggy)
As a result:
1. When walking or going up the stairs and ramps majority has to act far below their abilities and miss
the opportunity of effective open-air daily exercise combined with commute. In addition the monotony of shapes and surfaces limits the amount of muscles actively involved.
2. There is no allowance for people who still can walk, but for only for limited distances. As soon as one can’t walk from home to nearest bus stop/shop – he/she is forced into a wheelchair
By deep research of biomechanics of people walking, effects of particular kinds of exercise on muscle, core, heart and psychological health and psychology of picking the route I will be able to develop the ways to make built environment better and improve public health.
Her other interests are:
Future of cities (First prise Peter Cook/Royal Academy "Urban Utopias", Prise in Krob competition, London Skyline 2145 RIBA-Gleeds-Transformation Trust 2015)
Healthy urban environment, design that stimulates active lifestyle and body revitalizing (current research)
Inhabited 3D landscape, continuity and learning from natural shapes (Master's Thesis/Bartlett/work in EgretWest and WATG)
Light, natural light and emotional impact (Previous private residential projects)
Co-habiting with nature, giving surfaces back to plants and creatures (ongoing personal residential project with living roof, coordination with Arup living wall research)
Honesty in architecture: celebrate what is normally hidden (co-working/workshop space in Brighton with EgretWest)
Equality and equity - encouragement, reward and safety net (research visits to Cuba, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Egypt, Dagestan, Ukraine and Switzerland, charity work, community living projects)
Compromise or separation: freedom, zoning, influences, differences in understanding of comfort. (Civicwise collaborative research and workshop, competition "pure but beautiful")
Optimising visual connections (projects in Benoy and WATG, assisting A.Boldin in is research)
Pattern of fatal twist: Why do beautiful idealistic concepts fail: in architecture as well as politics, religions, philosophy?