The American Institute of Architects is headquartered in Washington, DC, has 90,000 members with 300 chapters and its Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President, appointed in February, 2011, is Robert Ivy.
Mr. Ivy has a vision of architecture that not only includes how a building appeals aesthetically, but how the building makes humans who live and work in them feel by designing structures that allow for plenty of natural light and encourages walking instead of using elevators and escalators which isn’t only good exercise but also saves electricity. Robert is steering the AIA toward encouraging architects to integrate public health into their designs to include the physical and mental health of people and also the environment.
Sustainability is the direction Robert Ivy sees architecture going by designing buildings that incorporate eco-friendly features as well as constructing buildings that can withstand extreme weather events and earthquakes.
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Ivy recognizes that younger architects are including socially enlightened ideas into their designs that take into account diversity of populations and health. The choice of everything from where to build to the materials used in the construction of a structure should be taken into consideration in order to provide healthy structures as well as choosing materials that are sustainable and environmentally friendly. And a healthy building includes providing for people spiritually and psychically. For example, Seattle Children’s Hospital recently expanded and the architects incorporated Biophilia, the idea that humans tend to seek connections with nature, into the design by providing views of Puget Sound and colorful artwork and murals representing the Northwest’s natural views and calm landscapes.
Collaborating with other professionals is important in Mr. Ivy’s vision since he feels nothing happens in isolation and that teams of people have to be coordinated in order to make the designs of healthy buildings work for the mind and the body.
The American Institute of Architects is an organization that was established back in 1857 by 13 architects as a professional body to register architects. The institute was also formed as part of the architecture design developments to help in the education of architects and government advocacy among other uses. Moreover, with the selection of Robert Ivy as the CEO, he has also incorporated other sectors in the organization where he has strongly advocated for the architecture that promotes health. In addition, the AIA has since adopted in its profession a fusion between architecture and the health fraternity for the well-being of the inhabitants of the buildings
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