Dr. Mark Fretz is a Research Assistant Professor and Associate Director of Outreach at the University of Oregon’s Institute for Health in the Built Environment in the Department of Architecture and directs the Institute’s industry research consortium, Build Health. Prior to studying and practicing architecture, Mark was a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and has transitioned from investigating oral microbiomes to building microbiomes and architectural design, bringing this leadership and cross-disciplinary background into architectural design practice, teaching and research.
As a designer, Mark has worked on projects ranging from product design to healthcare, housing, embassy, and commercial building typologies to district scale master planning. As a researcher and former clinician, he synthesizes this inter-disciplinary background to facilitate knowledge exchange between the Institute’s Build Health industry research consortium, research labs, external collaborators and community. His research and teaching focuses on exploring the unseen experiential design elements in the built environment that affect human health across multiple scales ranging from microbes and molecules to energy and carbon. An important theme in this exploration includes understanding how human migration from outdoor to indoor dwelling has affected evolutionary mechanisms connected with health and how architectural design can restore these relationships.
MArch, University of Oregon, 2013 DDS, University of Missouri-Kansas City, 2003 BA, German, Chemistry, Math, Bethel College, 1998