Five years ago I went through a personal health crisis. In a matter of weeks I completely lost my independence; I went from running half-marathons to not being able to walk 100m without feeling like I was going to faint. Someone needed to be with me at all times in case of a seizure. Anxiety and depression set in.

I couldn’t keep up with my work, so I pressed the pause button on my PhD and delegated existing architecture contracts to colleagues. I pushed many of my friends away because I didn’t know how to explain what was happening to me?—?and I dreaded the sympathy faces.

A mix of medicine, therapy and a supportive network of close friends and family got me through this sour stage of my life. But one of the crucial changes that kickstarted my recovery was moving from my apartment in Mexico City’s Acacias area to a new home in Tlaco.

Why am I telling you this? Because what I learned during my health crisis led me to my life’s mission and passion?—?to design buildings that make people happier and healthier. The positive effects that my new home had on me opened my eyes to the transformative power of architecture. Architects often go to great lengths to craft the perfect form and aesthetic that suits their style, but not enough architects take steps to ensure that their buildings are designed to foster wellbeing.

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