Why the Architects of the Future are Changing at AIA

     Since 2011, Robert Ivy has been leading American Institute of Architects (AIA) as its Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer. He has been recognized as a Master Architect by the national architecture fraternity Alpha Rho Chi, for his effectiveness in communicating design. In addition, he is the author of Fay Jones: Architect, a definitive biography in its third edition.

Under his successful leadership, the AIA has become a proactive, responsive and influential organization. In this era of global challenge and change, the architecture profession is evolving and merging with other industries successfully. Mr. Ivy encourages architects and design professionals to think beyond the current profession.

Prior to his position with AIA, Robert Ivy applied his knowledge and experience as the Editor in Chief of Architectural Record. During this time, Architectural Record became the world’s most widely read journal in the architectural industry. The publication garnered numerous publishing industry honors, providing the architecture industry with the highest standards to increase revenue and make informed choices with design and production.

In a recent interview with ZDNet, Mr. Ivy discussed the new focus on public health. He quotes: “Design has played an integral role in public health throughout the course of the history of the U.S., dating back to the draining of swamps in Washington, D.C., to the Olmsted design of Central Park in New York.” Although young architects are driving the trend in public health, it is not new and will continue to play an integral role in the industry.

Mr. Ivy likens architecture as a mantra. According to his insight, public health is being recast into new terms, where well-being is a more powerful word to use than the term welfare. He quotes: “Well-being” involves the larger sense of human potential. It has to do with not only physical but also psychic and even spiritual states. All those things are interlinked and matter in terms of your well-being, health, and potential.” This mantra provides a new way for design professionals to look at improving individual health rather than just maintaining it.

Moving forward the AIA is committed to engaging with architects, designers, and engineers in contemporary ways. Combining the technology community with Hackathons fits right in the competitive mode many architects have. Collaborating with other professions in all disciplines including financing and construction, will certainly allow architects to make an impact worldwide.

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