Formed in 1857 by a group of 13 architects from New York City, American Institute of Architects exists to enhance the practical and scientific proficiency of its members as well as upholding the reputation of the profession. The first team included Henry Cleaveland, Leopold Eidlitz, Edward Gardiner, Jacob Wrey, John Welch, Henry Dudley, Charles Babcock, Richard Morris Hunt, Joseph C. Wells, and Richard Upjohn who became the first president of the organization.
The first meeting of the group was on 23rd February 1857, and they decided to invite other 16 renowned architects to join the team, including Calvert Vaux, Thomas Walter, and Alexander Jackson Davis as well. Before the conception of AIA, anyone could label themselves as architects, because there were no licensing laws for architects or architectural institutions in the United States.
By March 1857, the group drafted the bylaws and a constitution using New York Society of Architects as the name of the organization, which later changed to American Institute of Architects. They then made amendments to the law in 1858 to advocate for the scientific, artistic, and practical profession of its members; to promote their association and good fellowship, to enhance the reputation of the job, and also harmonize the efforts of the members for the general development of the Art.
According to zdnet.com AIA control government procedures that touch on the practice of the architects and the quality of life. The organization monitors regulatory and legislative actions and utilizes the collective influence of its members to contribute to decision making by local, state and federal policymakers. AIA uses its community-based initiatives to work with local governments and federal legislators to improve the designs of public areas, protect the infrastructure of the country, and create affordable housing for Americans.
Robert Ivy became the chief executive officer and Vice President of the American Institute of Architects in 2010. Robert also served at McGraw-Hill Construction Media since 2003 as the Vice president, supervising the quality of online publications and prints. Before that, he was the chief editor at Architectural Record, and during his tenure RECORD emerged among the mostly distributed journals worldwide.
Robert Ivy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a Masters’ Degree in Architecture from the University of the South and Tulane University respectively. He is a member of the American Architecture Foundation, the International Circle of Architecture Critics, and former member of AIA’s national board. Robert currently serves on various architectural school boards including Tongji University in China, Tulane University, Auburn University, and Mississippi State University.