Robert Ivy: Architecture for a Healthy Future

     Robert Ivy has been the Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Institute of Architects since February of 2011. The American Institute of Architects has almost 88,000 members as of today. Robert Ivy is leading the AIA into the future by making the organization more relevant to modern day and more valuable as he hopes to improve the lives of the people in the United States through architecture and design. He was named a Master Architect in 2010 by Alpha Rho Chi.

Studies have already shown that proper design can improve health care making it so sick people are able to get better faster, or at least be more comfortable. Robert Ivy believes that design can prevent healthy people from getting sick as well.

When most people think about public health, they don’t often think about architecture. Architecture can encourage a more active lifestyle and create a healthier environment by using safe materials. Many cities are trying to implement more green space into their plans to provide safe and attractive parks for residents to walk in, both for leisure and to get to their destination without the aid of vehicles. Schools are also being built to use more natural lighting in order to help students concentrate and stay awake during class. Hospitals are being designed so patients can engage in more physical activity during recovery instead of being confined to cramped hallways filled with medical equipment.

Robert Ivy was born in Columbus, Mississippi. At the University of the South in Tenessee, Ivy graduated Cum Laude in English with a bachelor’s degree in 1969. In 1973 he continued his education at Tulane University where he was an honorary member of the Tau Sigma Delta architectural fraternity until 1976. He graduated in 1976 with a master’s degree in Architecture.

Robert Ivy believes the future of architecture is in designing for a lower impact on the environment, sustainability, and better health. Urban living can reduce the carbon footprint created by people. By creating sustainable architecture, we not only prevent waste but can also build so the buildings can withstand disasters whether they be natural or manmade. When human lives are at stake, whether it be in the long-term or short-term, it’s vital that we see safety and health as equally if not more important than aesthetics. The two can be combined to create a visually pleasing and healthy future for everyone.

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