American Institute of Architects CEO Is Interviewed By Smart Planet

The chief executive officer of the American Institute of Architects, Robert Ivy was interviewed by Sun Joo Kim from Smart Planet back in 2012. Robert Ivy was asked about how architecture is evolving and how it can impact other areas such as health. The CEO and executive vice president also revealed that the AIA will help fund universities with research grants, help develop a community plan in a major world city and sponsor a hackathon to help spur the development of programs that can aid architects plan and build better structures. Below are some highlights of the questions and answers from reporter, Sun Joo Kim of Smart Planet and American Institute of Architects CEO, Robert Ivy.

The first question asked of Robert Ivy of the AIA was what is the context behind the idea that architecture can improve public health. Mr. Ivy responded by saying that the creation of Central Park in New York City was driven by a desire to improve public health by eliminating downtrodden apartments and providing some green space for people. Central Park, despite what people think, was built for public health reasons and not for recreational purposes. The recreational aspects of Central Park would evolve over time and come later. Draining swampland around the nation’s proposed capital city of Washington D.C. also had to do primarily with health issues.

Smart Planet’s second question to American Institute of Architects executive VP, Robert Ivy was what aspects of public health can architecture actually impact. Robert Ivy responded by saying that architecture can have a big impact on non-communicable diseases in a community. By building structures that encourage walking, you can reduce the rates of obesity and the diseases that are linked to it such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. Architecture can also impact psychological health says Robert Ivy. Ideally, a building should have access to plenty of sunlight, fresh air and clean water. All of this contributes to better physical and psychological health. It can also make people happier as well.

During the interview, Robert Ivy says that many young and up and coming architects are now incorporating health and sustainability into their work. The idea that architecture is only about building and aesthetics is beginning to change. According to Robert Ivy this as a positive development. It is also a development that his organization, the American Institute of Architects wholeheartedly supports and wants to see grow in the future.


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