Robert Ivy Takes Matters Beyond Buildings

Robert Ivy is the CEO of American Institute of Architects (AIA), a position he took over in 2011. He is a graduate of Tulane University, where he got his Masters in Architecture. After working as an architect for some time, he worked for the publication Architectural Record. In 1996 he took over as editor-in-chief in 1996.

Under his captainship, it grew to become one of the most successful publications of its kind. His other jobs in publication include working as the Editorial Director of McGraw-Hill Construction Media, which also owned HQ Magazine, SNAP, ENR, and Sweets.

Perhaps the biggest contribution Robert Ivy has made is to change the conversation regarding architecture’s role in providing environmentally safe habitat for humans. The idea here is to create awareness to the general public in the role buildings play in peoples general well-being. Through AIA he hopes to tackle challenges facing the building industry, whether it is creative, social or economic challenges. In fact, even while working for McGraw-Hill, he dealt with architecture from an environmental perspective. Going by the awards and recognitions Robert got, it looks like he has succeeded in his endeavor.

While working at McGraw- Hill, one of the publications managed to get a Jesse H. Neal Award, which is rare for trade journals to get. In 2009, Robert himself received the title of “Master of Architecture” from the fraternity Alpha Rho Chi and G.D Crain Award for lifetime contributions to editorial work.

The award from the fraternity is truly a special one, as it has only been given to seven people in total in the last 100 years. Robert in the only architect so far to receive it in this century. As far as the AIA is concerned, after Robert became CEO it continued its expansion, both in terms of chapters as well as individual members. Today, the organization boasts of over 90,000 members and over 250 chapters.

Robert Ivy continues to transform AIA from just a legacy organization to a more proactive one. Because of his efforts, the public at large is more aware of the efforts and contributions of architects. He has, in short, changed the public perception of architects as not only people who design buildings but also as professionals who can make a contribution towards sustainability and public health. Despite his busy schedule, Robert manages to find time to travel and speak at conferences.