The American Institute of Architects, also known as the AIA, is a professional organization for architects in the United States. Currently led in part by CEO Robert Ivy, the organization was originally founded in the mid-19th century to elevate the standing of the profession. Today, the AIA has headquarters in Washington, D.C., and one of its main goals is to grant accreditation to architects throughout the country. This accreditation is granted to members of the organization who adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct.
Throughout its existence, the AIA has been devoted to servicing American society and improving the quality of American life. With a cohesive board of directors and over 200 employees, the AIA effectively utilizes a unified organizational structure and collective action. Public service work that is regularly carried out by the AIA includes working with federal, state, and local policymakers and launching community-based programs aiming to enhance public spaces. Perhaps most significantly, the AIA works to protect national infrastructure and develop solidly-built, impressively-designed, affordable housing for the nation’s residents.
Current CEO Robert Ivy has been CEO of the AIA since 2011. In his past seven years as CEO, Ivy has demonstrated his devotion to keeping the architecture profession as effective as possible in supporting a fast-changing global world. Most notably, Ivy has maintained a dedication to issues of climate change, sustainability, and public health. Ivy’s leadership of the AIA has assured that the most influential designers and architects throughout the country are deeply aware of and focused on the intersections of design and public health.
In 2012, Ivy spearheaded a ten-year plan to develop design solutions for cities confronting challenges related to public health, sustainability, and resiliency. According to a 2012 overview of the project featured in Metropolis, the effort is titled Decade of Design and consists university research and “community planning collaborations.” A unique part of the project is an initiative called Show Us Your APPtitude Hackathon. The initiative aims to promote and utilize creative apps and technologies as springboards. The Decade of Design is just one of the ways that Robert Ivy has ushered in an era of digital-first technology infrastructure that is aptly suited to today’s tech-oriented mindset.