Since 2011, Robert A. Ivy has served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Institute of Architects. As the Executive VP, Ivy’s most recent visions revolve around bringing awareness to architects and their role in addressing climate change, environmental sustainability, and public health.
Ivy’s May 2016 Huffington Post article on how design impacts public health highlights how simple architectural choices can encourage more Americans to exercise and ultimately reduce the damaging effects of the obesity epidemic. He highlighted how buildings such as those of a hospital have the potential to faster progress patient recovery through simple design choices. Architecture students are already being offered courses that revolve around how buildings impact public health, productivity, and sustainability. In the future, it is likely that the demand for more and more graduates to receive training in both public health and architecture will only increase.
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In his interview with ZDNet, Ivy elaborated how architectural design can affect everything from how a community combats diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, to how productive the people who occupy that building can be. He empathized that in order to achieve such progress, the image of the architect as an isolated creative genius will likely have to be replaced with people who are characterized as both cooperative and collaborative. With the constant development of new technologies, Ivy stated that it is best for architects and software engineers to exchange perspectives in order design a more productive future.
Robert A. Ivy grew up in Columbus, Mississippi. He received his Bachelor’s in English from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennesse and his Master’s in Architecture for Tulane University. Since 2003, Ivy has also acted as the Vice President and Editorial Director of McGraw-Hill Construction Media – a press entity responsible for countless architectural articles in both print and digital formats. Ivy also received the Crane Award in 2009 from the American Business Media, the premier magazine journalism award from the American Society of Magazine Editors, and was named a Master Architect by Alpha Rho Chi – the national architecture fraternity. He is currently serving on the university advisory board for Tulane University, Mississippi State University, Auburn University’s Rural Studio, and Tonji University School of Architecture and Urban Planning. As CEO, Ivy hopes that this new generation of architectural and design professionals will be more public-health oriented and will be more focused on improving the well-being of the general population.