Since 1857, the American Institute of Architects has been the foremost architectural organization within the United States. The AIA serves to engage with architects, foster cooperation, and encourage creativity. In 2011, the organization named its new Vice President and Chief Executive Officer, Robert Ivy. Ivy has now served as the organization’s leader for seven years and has brought significant success to the AIA. However, sometimes it’s important to look back, and see what brought him here, and what his dream was for the AIA seven years ago.
A Retrospective on the Appointment of Robert Ivy
In 2011, Robert Ivy was already a figure of much renown within architectural circles, having worked with a number of architectural publications in editorial roles, and having led a successful architectural career up until that point as well. Indeed, Ivy had been the first architect of the 21st century to be recognized by Alpha Rho Chi as a Master Architect, a title awarded to very few. In addition, he had earned the Crane Award two years earlier and had become famous within architectural circles as one of the brightest minds in the industry.
On top of his publicly recognized achievements and his awards, Ivy has also put a significant effort into advocating for architecture. He has attempted to bring the industry into the public eye by using architecture to address social, environmental, political, and economic issues.
Before he was appointed as their VP and CEO, Ivy had been a dedicated member of the AIA’s board since the 90s. With over 300 chapters worldwide, his newfound position, a budget of $56 million, and his new offices in Washington, DC, Ivy set out to better the US through architecture and to put the focus back on design. He also worked to address issues within the institute itself. But his most significant contribution was his work to bring Architecture back into the public eye and to get people excited about the industry.
The former president of the AIA, as well as the newly appointed Clark Manus, expressed strong hope for a future under Ivy’s leadership, praising his abilities as an architect and as a leader. The board as a whole considered Ivy to be exactly what they needed, and over the next year, Manus worked closely with Ivy to help bring about his goals for the organization.
Seven Years Later
Ivy had been hard at work over the past seven years, and many of his dreams have inched ever closer to becoming a reality. The American Institute of Architecture has become stronger than ever before, and public outreach has brought new faces to the industry after a period of stagnation. For the future, Ivy plans to continue his campaign of public outreach, and make architecture relevant again by using it to solve real-world problems.