The CEO of the American Institute of Architects, Robert Ivy, believes good, intentional design can improve public health. In the fall of 2012, the American Institute of Architects gave a ten-year commitment to address public health through design and technology solutions. While aesthetics are important to design, the American Institute of Architects and Robert Ivy want environmental and human health to be the main focus of architecture.
There are three initiatives for their ten-year goal: collaboration planning with the communities involved, university research, and Hackathons to create apps and technology. The University of Arkansas, Texas A&M, and the University of New Mexico were the first to receive research grants. Part of Robert Ivy’s research goals is to prove that design impacts health and they are seeking to quantify the benefits.
Robert Ivy is the Executive Vice President as well as being the Chief Executive Officer of the American Institute of Architects since February of 2011. Prior to the AIA, he was with McGraw-Hill from 1996 to 2011 as Editor in Chief for the Architectural Record. He was also the Vice President and Editorial Director for several design and construction publications at McGraw-Hill.
In the United States, there is a 35% obesity rate along with an additional 35% being overweight. In children, there is a 17% obesity rate and something needs to be done. Robert Ivy hopes to see architecture transform public health by encouraging more physical activity and by improving the mental health of the public. Cities are implementing more parks with scenic walking trails and building schools with natural lighting to improve the students’ ability to concentrate.
A cum laude graduate in English, Robert Ivy earned his bachelor’s degree in 1969 from the University of the South. As an honorary member of the architectural fraternity Tau Sigma Delta, in 1976 Robert Ivy finished his education at New Orlean’s Tulane University. The Columbus, Mississippi native earned a master’s in Architecture.
The Alpha Rho Chi architectural fraternity named Robert Ivy the only Master Architect
According to Alpha Rho Chi in the 21st century. At the Design Futures Council, he holds a Senior Fellowship. Along with receiving the Crain Award by the American Business Media in 2009, in 1998 he was given the McGraw-Hill Award for Management Excellence. His publications are also highly decorated with dozens of awards being given to the Architectural Record during his time at McGraw-Hill.