The Timeless Evolution of the American Institute of Architects

February 12, 2018Uncategorized Standard

The AIA or American Institute of Architects is an organization of professional architects based in Washington D.C. that offers a myriad of funding to back-up education, community redevelopment, public outreach and government advocacy for the entire architect profession and enhance its public image.

A group composed of 13 architects established the American Institute of Architects in 1857, with the purpose of elevating the architect profession and also to encourage “the scientific and perfection of its members”. The original members of the AIA include the following: Richard M. Upjohn, Joseph C. Wells, Henry Dudley, Charles Babcock, John Welch, Edward Gardiner, Jacob Wrey Mould, Henry W. Cleaveland, Leopold Eidlitz, Richard Morris Hunt, and Fred A. Petersen. The first president of the group is Richard Upjohn. Before the AIA was established it was a fact that anybody could say that they are an architect because architectural licensing laws and architect schools in the United States do not exist at that time.

To legalize the existence of the organization, the group dubbing themselves as New York Society of Architects drafted its by-laws and constitution on March 10, 1857. The name New York Society of Architect was later changed to American Institute of Architects as proposed by Thomas Walter who hails from Philadelphia. And the headquarters office was in New York Avenue, NW, Washington D. C.

On February 01, 2011, the American Institute of Architects assigned Fellow AIA Robert Ivy, as its new Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer. Robert Ivy earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of the South located in Tennessee; took his Master’s in the Tulane University of Louisiana and 1993 was promoted to the AIA College of Fellows.

Robert Ivy is a predominant figure within the architectural circle and has been a very supportive advocate of the said profession on many political, environmental and social concerns. His dedication to the AIA and the architectural profession is showcased by the positions he held over the years, as Vice President and Editorial Director of Mc-Graw Hill Construction; and Editor-in-Chief of Architectural Record since 1996. In recognition of his contributions to elevating the architectural profession to a higher level, he was granted the Crane Award in 2009 and acknowledged as a Master Architect by the architectural fraternity Alpha Rho Chi.

Ivy’s new appointment with the AIA will entail managing the head office in Washington D.C. that currently employs 206 individuals and which has an annual budget of around $56 million. His main responsibilities will include: providing support to AIA members overseas; dissemination of information so proper understanding about design value, architect and architecture could be realized; and working hand-in-hand with 300 chapters nationwide to promote the goals of the AIA as a whole.

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