Robert Ivy is one of the leading architects of the 21st century. He recently received a Noel Polk Lifetime Achievement from the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters (MIAL). The award is given to creatives from Mississippi who have outstanding works of art and have illustrated immense support for the arts. It has previously been won by several celebrities including actor Morgan Freeman and acclaimed writer Shelby Foote.
Ivy is the first individual from his profession to receive this Noel Polk Lifetime Achievement. He was honored in an event at the MIAL together with stained-glass engineer Andrew Young who works at Pearl River Glass Studio.
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Since he started his tenure as the EVP and CEO of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Robert has significantly grown the reach of the organization all around the world. He has also led the organization to attain its most substantial membership numbers. Before starting his position at AIA, Robert was a senior editor for the Architectural Record at McGraw Hill. He grew the journal’s subscription and led it to become the most favorite architectural journal in the world. It also bagged several awards including the National Magazine Award for Excellence. Additionally, Robert Ivy guided the firm’s expansion in China where he launched a Mandarin Version of the Architectural Record.
Robert Ivy has received congratulatory messages from high profile personalities like AIA’s president Carl Elefante and Nancy LaForge following his distinction. The latter who is MIAL’s president said that Robert deserved the honor for the great work he had done in making architecture obtainable to the public through his writing and commentary works. Carl Elefante of his part praised Robert for being devoted to his career and representing the architectural industry well.
During his career, Robert Ivy has received several distinctions. The Alpha Rio Chi national boy of architecture gave him a Master Architect title. It is one of the highest distinctions in the architecture fraternity and is only granted to the best architects like Ludwig Mies and I. M Pei. In 2017, the Fay Jones School of Architecture at the University of Arkansas awarded Robert with a Dean’s Medal.
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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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