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Meet Robert Ivy, CEO of AIA { 2011 AIATN Convention Speaker Series }

Memphis is an amazing array of speakers from across the street and around the world.

Meet Robert Ivy, FAIA / CEO of the American Institute of Architects
Speaking Friday, August 5, 3 – 4:30

In one sentence, how would you describe architecture to those outside the field?
Any building can be just a building but architecture always has more.

Who or what most inspire your creative side? / How do you spark creativity?
As an editor, trying to be creative every day, it’s not about a lightning bolt. It’s slow work that forms into something much like piling up match sticks.

What are you currently reading, whether it be books, magazines, or blogs?
As a writer, I’m an eclectic reader. I’m reading “Ulysses” by James Joyce or should I say trying to read, that choice may make me sound highfalutin. Of course, I read Architectural Record, Architect magazine, blogs like Dezeen, newspapers, the Economist.

Where would you suggest young talented architects use their design talents to make the most impact?
I’m a believer in volunteering. Start as a volunteer doing damage assessment or helping Habitat for Humanity. You’ll meet people and do good. Everything you do and everyone you meet counts.

How do you balance work life and social/family life?
Life is a whole and needs to be whole. If you don’t, you’re cheating yourself. My home is focused on my wife, children, and a quiet garden. It’s also my emotional center where I can relax and work in the garden.

What other hobbies, interests do you have outside of Architecture?
I’m a big reader, gardener though my Mississippi home is probably full of weeds. I run, love the outdoors, and travel all around the world.

I know you have been to Memphis several times before and have family here, correct? What are your current impressions of Memphis?
I do have family there – a first cousin and good friends there too. My daughter used to be in Memphis. One reason I’m visiting is to see the changes in the city. I’ve made short trips before but I really need a long visit.

What are some things you most look forward to in your trip to Memphis? In this response, can you be specific about what exact food you are looking forward to?
It’s a big city. I know it well so it’ll be like coming home. I am looking forward to bbq and southern cooking, the blue plate specials. I love cornbread. I do like chefs that look at traditional cooking with a twist.

Any fellow speaker(s) you look forward to seeing present?
All of them – Brian Mackay-Lyons, Julie Snow, long term colleagues. I look forward to seeing what they’ve been up to.

What can we look forward to in your presentation at the AIA TN convention? I understand that it’ll be a Q & A format with Connie Wallace conducting the interview.
It will be a conversation. Connie has known me a long time and will know where to ask the right questions but I have no idea what kind of questions Connie will ask. It’ll be fun to watch.


We look forward to Robert‘s responses to Connie’s questions. Read more on Robert Ivy in the convention brochure and through the links below.

Webpage www.aia.org
Magazine Cover via www.architectmagazine.com
Twitter @robertivy

Thanks so much Robert, Carolyn and David for making the great phone interview/conversation happen.

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