American Institute Of Architects CEO Celebrates Growing Collaboration With Other Industries

The American Institute of Architects recently announced a ten-year commitment to developing initiatives aimed at improving public health and fostering natural disaster readiness in urban areas. These initiatives include the creation of an app via a public design event, provision of university grants and the development of a community plan situated in a major metropolitan area.

Based out of Washington DC, the AIA serves as one of the nation’s leading professional outfits for architects and other members of the design and construction industries. In operation for more than a century and a half and boasting more than 90,000 members, the AIA has been headed since 2011 by Executive Vice President and CEO Robert Ivy. Ivy graduated from Sewanee with a Bachelor’s in English and from Tulane University with a Master’s in Architecture. He was previously the President of McGraw-Hill Construction Media, overseeing the publication of leading architectural media such as Constructor, SNAP and Architectural Record, the latter of which he also served as Editor in Chief of Architectural Record.

In the aftermath of the announcement of the ten-year initiative, Ivy sat down with SmartPlanet to discuss intersectionality between architecture and other industries, specifically how the design industry can play a leading and integral function in the maintenance of public health.


Pointing to the historical role architecture has played in improving and maintaining public health – as evidenced in the drainage system of Washington DC or the construction of Central Park – Ivy framed architecture as more than a simple creative outlet through which buildings are made.

“Publications looked at buildings as objects more than as social engines or agents of change or as places that would affect public health, but in fact they do,” Ivy pointed out. He went on to voice his anticipation that a budding, socially conscious generation of architects would continue to parlay their skills into serving the public good.

Robert Ivy also celebrated the growing cooperation between architecture and other disciplines. “We need to be collaborating with other professions more,” he said. “Nothing happens in isolation.”

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