160 Years Of The American Institute Of Architecture

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The American Institute of Architecture was first called the New York Society of Architects when it was chartered in 1857. The group of 13 local architects soon decided that the name was too specific, changing the group’s name to its current iteration. The moved proved to be a good one as the institute grew rather quickly. Local chapters of the AIA popped up all over New England and by the 1880s there were local chapters as far west as Saint Louis, Missouri.

The AIA was formed in order to elevate the profession and provide a set of standards for architects of the day. In 1857 there were schools for architecture and no licensing programs so any person could call themselves an architect. The AIA changed that. In order to be a member of the AIA, one must have graduated from an accredited architectural program and be a licensed architect by a state licensure program. The result, as of 2008 there were over 90,000 architects with membership in the AIA. There are currently over 260 local chapters across the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, and the United Kingdom.

Known as one of the premier architectural critics of the past 20 years, Robert Ivy is the Executive Vice President and CEO of the AIA. He was named to the position in 2011 after a long career in the field. Robert graduated from the University of the South with a Bachelor’s degree in Art and then attended Tulane University where he received a Master’s in Architecture. He then became a principal at Dean/Dale Dean & Ivy, where he worked as an architect from 1981 to 1996. In 1996 Ivy became the Editorial Director at the Architectural Record. Under his management, the publication has won numerous awards including 26 Jesse H. Neal awards and an Award for General Excellence by the American Society of Magazine Editors.

Robert Ivy also serves as the Vice President and Editorial Director of McGraw-Hill Construction Media and is an accomplished author. In 2001, Ivy published the authoritative biography of the famous apprentice of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, title Fay Jones: Architect. Ivy continues to be a large voice in the architectural community and is dedicated to bringing architecture into the 21st century.