In 1957 a group of 13 architects from New York came together to form a trade-based membership group which would guarantee the quality of the work completed in 19th-century New York. The group could never have imagined the importance their association would become over the course of the next 150 plus years; the membership group which would become the Robert Ivy led American Institute of Architects was original to be called the New York Institute of Architects until architects from across the U.S. stepped in and wished to join the subscription group.
Although the first attempts at building a subscription-based group of architects saw the original mission of the group be to build a better and more complete construction industry this goal soon expanded to include the need to assist in developing nationwide building regulations. The original 13 architects who formed the American Institute of Architects have now expanded to include 200 full-time members of staff at the Washington D.C. headquarters under the leadership of EVP and CEO, Robert Ivy.
The evolution of the American Institute of Architects has continued apace under the leadership of Robert Ivy as he believes the membership group should use its influence to be more proactive in building stronger relationships with those creating construction regulations across the nation and the world. In the view of Robert Ivy, the people of the world require groups such as the American Institute of Architects to build their awareness of the major construction and building issues needing attention in the 21st-century; an award-winning public awareness campaign was created by Robert Ivy and his team to build awareness of the issues of climate change which will form the major architectural challenge of the next few decades.
Major public awareness campaigns do form much of the work completed by the American Institute of Architects but the day-to-day operation of the construction industry is the cornerstone of the work being completed by the group. One of the most important pieces of business for the American Institute of Architects is to maintain model contracts for construction purposes to ensure all parties in the industry are protected during business dealings s projects are completed.