Robert Ivy: A Dream For A New Architectural Generation

Between 2011 and 2014, the rate of obesity in the United States for adults jumped to 36.5%, according to the CDC. And it is only increasing, which is, in turn, leading to a major increase in obesity-related diseases in both children and adults (including: type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and so on). To battle this growing crisis, health professionals and architects are banding together to help facilitate an overall improvement in public health via the creation of innovative parks, health clinics in schools, and the revival of bike paths and fitness centers across the US.
 
The blending of public health and architecture is being spearheaded by leaders like Robert Ivy, Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

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Since 2011, Ivy has led the AIA into a new era of architectural vision, focusing on projects relevant to today’s societal problems (which includes public health). The basic idea is to push undergraduate study in medical schools to offer architectural tracks, thus creating a future generation of architects prepared to design a whole new world of public health for our society. This grand plan has not fully come into effect as of yet, but colleges like Texas Tech University and Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health are beginning to combine medical practice with architectural design in their curricula, thus ensuring that the dream stays alive.

Ivy is one of seven individuals in a century to receive the title of “Master Architect” from his fraternity, Alpha Rho Chi, from his Alma Mater Tulane University. As the lead editor of Architectural Record, the newsletter achieved a variety of journalism awards, including: the American Society of Magazine Editors National Magazine Award for General Excellence; twenty-six Jesse H. Neal Awards; 7 Ozzies for Folio Design Awards; and the MPA Digital Award for Website of the Year: Enthusiast (2008). Ivy is also the author of biography Fay Jones: Architect (originally published in 2001), which covers the work of this American architect and apprentice to Frank Lloyd Wright, co-founder of the Prairie School and a remarkable architect active during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in the US.

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