Robert Ivy: Building A New Road For Architecture

Robert Ivy is presently the CEO of The American Institute of Architects. He has been in that position since 2011. Prior to that he was the Editor in Chief of Architectural Record. The AIA is a membership based professional organization. In the past their primary focus has been on the design and construction of buildings. However, since Ivy has taken the helm, their focus has broadened to how architecture can have a positive impact on overall public health.

Robert Ivy grew up in Columbus, Mississippi. He would go on to earn his BA in English from Sewane University in 1969 his Masters in Architecture from Tulane University in 1976. From 1996 to 2011 he served as Editor in Chief of the Architectural Record. During Ivy’s tenure at the Architectural Record earned many awards including the National Magazine award and many Jesse H. Neal Awards. In 2001 he authored a book on the biography of Fay Jones the architect. In 2010, Robert Ivy was named “Master Architect” by Alpha Rho Chi.

Read more: AIA’s Robert Ivy on Committing the Profession to Public Health

Since becoming CEO of the AIA, Robert Ivy has been very outspoken about the necessity of architects collaborating with other disciplines to promote public health and resiliency. In May of 2016 he wrote a blog titled Architects of Health for the Huffington Post. The article discusses how the architectural sector and public health sector can collaborate to fight the obesity epidemic in America. He cites how the MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio had partnered up with an architecture firm to design a facility which encourages exercise to promote recovery. Ivy also cites how architects have teamed up with park planners in Manhattan to design the High Line.

In November of 2012, Robert Ivy did an interview with ZDNet in which he discusses how in the past architecture was mainly focused on “formalism”. That is, they focused on how a building looked as an object rather than how it could affect positive social change. Ivy believes the new architect needs to be more socially engaged by considering how a building can have an influence on sustainability and physical/mental health. He emphasizes the necessity of “well-being as opposed to welfare”.

In both Robert Ivy’s interviews and articles he discusses how the AIA is creating solutions to society’s problems through architecture. He discusses how the AIA is creating hackathons which bring experts from different sectors to coalesce around design solutions. Ivy emphasizes how architecture cannot operate in isolation and emphasizes that the field needs individuals from diverse backgrounds to have influence on future design.

Check more about Robert Ivy: http://thehill.com/social-tags/end-citizens-united

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