American Institute of Architects was established in 1857 by a team of 13 architects in New York City to advance the practical and scientific excellence of its members and also promote the eminence of the profession. The first group included Henry W. Cleaveland, Charles Babcock, Edward Gardiner, Leopold Eidlitz, Henry Dudley, Fred A. Petersen, John Welch, Jacob Wrey Mould, Joseph C. Wells, Richard Morris Hunt, and Richard M. Upjohn who was the first president.
The group met on 23rd February 1857 and resolved to invite 16 other protuberant architects to join the team, including Calvert Vaux, Thomas U. Walter, and Alexander Jackson Davis. Previously before the establishment of AIA, anyone could declare themselves as an architect, since there were no architecture institutions or laws governing architectural licensing in the United States.
The team drafted bylaws and a constitution under the name New York Society of Architects in March 1857, and later changed the name to American Institute of Architects. The law was subsequently amended in the following year to endorse the practical, artistic and scientific profession of its members; to expedite good fellowship; to promote the status of the business; and also bring together the efforts of Architecture professionals for the growth of the Art.
AIA provides its members with reliable contract documents, professional development opportunities, design and professional information services, client-oriented resources and personal benefits. The institution also offers preparation courses as well as employment referrals services to help the young professionals. The AIA strives to meet the interests and needs of the public and the country’s architects through public awareness on the significance of good design and the value of architecture.
Robert Ivy, who got appointed in 1996 as the chief editor of Architectural Record, became the CEO and Executive Vice President of the American Institute of Architects in 2010. Besides leading in RECORD, Robert has served as McGraw-Hill Construction Media’s Vice President since 2003, supervising the editorial quality of online publications and numerous prints. During his tenure, RECORD emerged as one of the most distributed architectural journals in the entire world.
Ivy holds a B.A. in English from the University of the South, in Tennessee and a Masters’ Degree in Arch from Tulane University. In 1992, AIA published his book, Fay Jones: Architect. Robert is a member of the International Circle of Architecture Critics, CICA, the American Architecture Foundation and a former national board member of the AIA. Currently, Ivy serves on the advisory boards of various architecture schools including Mississippi State University, Tulane University, Auburn University’s Rural Studio, and Tongji University in China.