The American Institute of Architects or AIA is an organization formed in 1857 in New York City. Its goal was to elevate architecture’s standing as a profession and bring scientific and practical perfection to the field. Prior to its founding, anyone could call themselves an architect. The AIA set specific training and qualification standards a person had to meet to be considered an architect. Today, from its Washington, D.C. headquarters, the AIA provides education, government advocacy and public outreach to improve the profession’s public image and help coordinate the building industry.
When it was founded over 160 years ago, the American Institute of Architects only had 13 members and no architectural licensing laws or schools of architecture existed in the United States. Through the work of the AIA, architects now receive rigorous training in prestigious schools and have a strict licensing procedure designed to earn the public’s trust in an architect’s ability to design buildings and work with construction teams to safely erect them. The AIA now has over 300 branches and more than 90,000 members that are all sworn to follow the organization’s code of ethics and adhere to the highest standards of professional conduct. The AIA has five levels of membership. They are Architect, Associate, International associate, Emeritus and Allied members.
Robert Ivy, FAIA is CEO and executive vice president of the American Institute of Architects. He was appointed to the position in 2010. Ivy graduated from Tulane University with a master’s degree in architecture. He also earned a bachelor’s degree in English at the University of the South. Robert Ivy is an International Circle of Architecture Critics member, served on the AIA national board and was a member of the American Architecture Foundation. Currently he is on four architecture schools advisory boards. Those schools are Tulane University, Auburn University’s Rural Studio, Mississippi State University and Tongji University School of Architecture and Urban Planning located in Shanghai, China
A well-respected writer and editor, Robert Ivy wrote Fay Jones: Architect which the AIA published in 1992. In 1996, Ivy become Architectural Record’s Editor-in-Chief. Under his leadership Architectural Record was among the world’s most read architecture publications. It won over 35 awards including the National Magazine Award for General Excellence from the American Society of Magazine Editors. It’s magazine journalism’s premier award.
In 2003, Robert Ivy became McGraw-Hill Construction Media’s editorial director and vice president. In 2009, for his lifetime of contribution that he made to the press, Ivy was given the Crane Award. It’s the highest recognition American Business Media gives to an individual. The prestigious architectural fraternity Alpha Rho Chi named Robert Ivy a Master Architect in 2010. Only six other people have ever received that honor.
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