Robert Ivy, former board member and current chief executive officer and executive vice president of the American Institute of Architects, has a dream to improve the nation’s health through architecture. He is especially passionate about using architecture to combat the obesity epidemic. By working with city planners and health officials he believes architects can make a difference and is funding initiatives to help his vision become a reality.
It is widely known that being overweight is mainly caused by poor diet and lack of exercise. Even with the cause being so well known, 35 percent of people in the United States are obese with 17 percent of children being so. Robert Ivy believes that by changing the way buildings, and for that matter cities, are designed and built could be a solution to the problem. By giving people reasons to go outside and just to be more active, the problem could be helped. From parks with beautiful views to hospital with corridors that allow patients to walk around during recovery instead of dodging medical carts, plans are in the works in cities around the world.
Cleveland’s MetroHealth Medical Center is working to change the city into a more health-conscious environment well beyond the borders of their medical facility. Along with changing the city’s parks and biking trails, they are also working with local farmers to attain locally sourced crops for healthy food initiatives.
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Robert Ivy attended Tulane University where he earned a Masters in Architecture and was an honorary member of Tau Sigma Delta.
While editor for the Architectural Record, the magazine earned the National Magazine Award for General Excellence from the American Society of Magazine Editors and 26 Jesse H. Neal Awards among others. Robert Ivy was also on the panel to select the architect for the Dwight D. Eisenhower memorial. In 2009, the Crain Award was given to Ivy. The Crain Award is the highest honor the American Business Media can bestow upon someone. In 2009 he became the only person in the 21st century to become an Alpha Rho Chi “Master Architect” and only 1 of 7 to in the architecture fraternity’s history. He was presented this honor for his ability to communicate design’s value.
Robert Ivy became the CEO and Executive Vice President of the American Institute of Architects in 2011. He was previously employed at McGraw Hill as Vice President and Editorial Director for their design and construction publications as well as the Editor in Chief for Architectural Record with the same company.