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Category: Architect

ZDnet Interviews AIA Chief

The American Institute of Architects is a prominent national organization that represents architects and similar professionals. Founded in 1857 by a group of thirteen architects, it is now a multinational organization with over 9000 members. Despite their name, they have chapters in 260 different countries. Their annual convention in New York remains the premier event for architects after 150 years.

The people at recently brought in their CEO, Robert Ivy, to ask him about his experiences in the industry. In the process, they also give us an excellent look at his views and opinions as one of the giants in his field. He has been CEO of AIA since February 1, 2011.

The main thing that separates Robert Ivy from other industry leaders is his sense of vision. Of course, being the head of a huge association of professional architects, he advocates for a high level of quality and professionalism among his organization. But innovation is the main thing that sets this guy apart. For instance, he has ideas about combining the latest architecture with the latest software and computer technology, so as to better integrate the modern home into the future.

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The first few questions in the interview are focused on the idea that architecture can be something that is designed in such a way to improve public health. One example of this is Central Park in New York. Rather than being founded as a recreational area, the park was originally included in the design of the city for purposes of public health. It was believed that having a little piece of good clean nature would help the city around it to be cleaner as well. Robert Ivy also mentions the importance of stairs, as their inclusion forces residents to get at least a little exercise. He also talks about the importance of selecting the right materials to build any structure. Of course, public health is something that an architect has to give a lot of thought to. Whether its material selection, plumbing, wiring, heat retention and ventilation are all essential to a healthy home.

But Robert Ivy wasn’t just talking about physical health. He says he is also concerned with the mental and spiritual influences that result from the creation of a certain atmosphere. He believes that people can be more productive, healthier, and happier in the proper setting, and says that he wishes for more research into these factors.

Certainly, the idea is a fascinating one. The modern home has certainly changed a lot in the last century, and it is exciting to think of what our living spaces will look like by the end of the current one.

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