The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is a professional membership organization for architects and designers headquartered in Washington, D.C. From its modest beginnings in 1857 with 13 architects, AIA has grown to more than 90,000 members in 250 chapters.
AIA chapters exist throughout the United States and in Canada, France, Hong Kong, the UAE, China, and the U.K. Chapters are also located in several U.S. territories including Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Robert Ivy, the executive vice president and chief executive officer of AIA, is positioning AIA for the 21st century.
As a visionary leader and innovator, Robert Ivy challenges architects and designers to expand their focus to include the nexus between architecture and social justice by focusing on AIA values. The AIA states on its website, “Our work drives positive change through the power of design.” The societal change and social justice issues Ivy and his colleagues want to impact with architecture and design include sustainability, through designing structures that are environmentally-friendly and by actively and aggressively promoting equity and inclusion to ensure the profession becomes stronger through diversity.
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Ivy and the AIA architects and designers want to reduce the carbon footprint of their designs giving the nod to the importance of the issue of global warming and climate change. Recognizing America is a nation of immigrants, an AIA value is that everyone deserves respect and everyone should expect fair and equitable treatment. Ivy and the AIA support the strengthening of building codes to protect public safety. The AIA supports rigorous academic training and licensure of architects and designers to ensure architects stay abreast of the latest standards and trends in the field and that designs are sensitive to the safety and well-being of people and the environment.
The future of architecture coincides with the values of the AIA, and that includes using sustainable materials, designing structures that are energy efficient and environmentally friendly, and engaging in architectural projects that are sensitive to the issue of public health. Under his leadership, Robert Ivy ensures the AIA repurposes and redirects its dollars to focus activities on the AIA’s vision and mission as a values-driven organization. Ideally positioned to stay innovative and relevant, the AIA under Ivy’s leadership is shaping the AIA for the future.
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