The quiet and soft-spoken CEO of the American Institute of Architects, Robert Ivy has a grasp for the US urban planning, and that’s why he can steer conversations on how to align modern technology with architecture and the need for architects to work closely with software developers to boost their careers. Ivy is currently the executive vice president and chief officer of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). AIA is a professional body whose focus is on design, building as well as construction. Robert Ivy has been on the forefront in encouraging both experienced and new architects to think outside their professional field.
The American Institue for Architects (AIA) is a professional organization for architects in the Unites States. It was founded in 1857 and has its headquarters in Washington, D.C. Among its roles is to offer education top the public concerning design and construction as well as to issue operating licenses to architects across the U.S.
According to Robert Ivy, architects can play a major role in other fields such as improving health conditions and offering disaster relief solutions. The AIA has recently been on a mission to encourage its members to not only focus their efforts on the design and building industry but also look out at areas where they can impact the lives of people around them. Indeed, a recent survey conducted shows that several architects are getting out of their professional field and focusing on other areas not necessarily related to their profession. He was recently interviewed by SmartPlanet.
SmartPlanet: Can you provide a scenario through which architecture can improve public health?
Robert Ivy: The role of design in improving public health in the U.S cannot be downplayed. It can be traced right from the draining of swamps in Washington D.C to the design of the Central Park in New York. The most interesting thing with architecture is that we focus on different themes in different seasons. For instance, in the past decade, formalism was the emphasis, but that has currently changed.
SmartPlanet: Is there anything architecture can affect directly regarding public health issues?
Robert Ivy: The truth is that architecture largely affects the rate of non-communicable diseases such as heart disease and diabetes in a community. Buildings can be designed in a way through which they can promote exercise, for example, ensuring all buildings have staircases where people can walk instead of using lifts.
SmartPlanet: It appears as if AIA is closely working with sectors not related to architecture, is this a new trend?
Robert Ivy: if you are talking about Hackathons, well, it is a necessary move for architects. Architects are comfortable with comparative discrimination and contests. We are trying to create a scenario where architects do not solely focus on architecture but instead, think outside the box. That is one way through which we can improve the lives of our people and grow ourselves as architectures. Learn more:https://www.clintonfoundation.org/blog/authors/robert-ivy-0