The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has been in existence since the year 1857. It is a professional body mandated by the federal government to educate, train and as well as issue operating licenses to qualified architects. The institution currently has a total membership of 87, 890. It has its headquarters in Washing D.C. Robert Ivy is the current Chief Executive Officer of the institution. Although the main office of the institution is based in Washington, there are branches all over the country. There are different chapters of the institution in almost every state, and each one of them operates autonomously.
Robert Ivy has been at the helm of the institution for over seven years and has been praised for his relentless efforts of introducing sweeping changes in the institution. Ivy is a registered architect, and at one point he worked as a magazine editor. Lately, he has been on a mission to ensure that architects get involved in different other fields besides design and construction. According to him, times have changed, and there’s a great need for architects to collaborate with software developers and other professionals to bring diversity in their field of profession.
The soft-spoken CEO believes that architecture can bring about numerous changes in different areas such as improving health as well as offering disaster relief solutions. That is probably why in recent months AIA has been receiving attention outside the design and construction industry. The institution recently at the Clinton Global Initiative’s Annual meeting announced a ten-year commitment plan to create solutions and program directed towards sustainability, resilience to natural disaster as well as public health. Robert Ivy while talking to Sun Joo Kim of Smart Planet expressed hope that the institutions’ ambitious plan will bear fruits shortly.
SmartPlanet: Can you think of a scenario where architecture can be used to improve public health?
Robert Ivy: Design has played a major role throughout history in the public health sector. Without architecture, we wouldn’t be having the Olmsted of Central Park in New York and several other nice building around.
SmartPlanet: The AIA has recently been seen partnering with an organization outside the architectural sector, what do you think about that?
Robert Ivy: You are right. That is what we are trying to do as an institution. We want to move out from the old way of doing things and start thinking outside the box. Read this article:https://www.architecturalrecord.com/articles/5547-architectural-record-editor-in-chief-robert-ivy-to-head-aia