Abbreviated as AIA, the American Institute of Architects is an organization of professionals in the field of architecture in the United States. It is headquartered in the Washington D.C and is committed to offer education, community development, government advocacy and outreach to the public for the support of architecture profession to improve its image.
The AIA does not work alone; it works together with other members in the designing and construction teams in the coordination of the building industry.
AIA was founded in 1857 February by 13 architects in New York City as the New York Society of Architects. Their agenda was to promote the practical and scientific abilities for the members as well as uplifting the standing of the architecture profession. After two months they were incorporated and have been growing to reach about 90,000 members at the moment.
In the 1860s, architects from other cities were already asking to join AIA. By 1880s, several chapters had been formed in other places such as Baltimore, Boston, Albany, Cincinnati, Washington DC and other places in America. Currently, there are more than 260 chapters of AIA throughout the world.
AIA core values involve driving positive change using the power of design. This is done by ensuring that architects get the resources needed to do their best work. One of the values of AIA is promotion of equity, diversity and inclusion in order to create to achieve a stronger profession.
Climate change is taken seriously by AIA as they understand its impacts. Therefore, AIA are in the forefront of fighting the climate change. This is because buildings are major generators of carbon and through their designing; architects can contribute to reduction of carbon emission.
AIA also advocates for sustainability in order to set the current and coming generations on a prosperity journey by reducing environmental impacts of the buildings, restoration of natural resources and developing safe communities.
Awards and Honors
The AIA has been recognizing individuals and organizations as a result of their outstanding achievements and support for the architecture profession. This has led to development of awards and programs such as Honors Program, Institute Honors, Institute Honors for Professional Achievement and many more awards given to different parties for their achievements.
The AIA consistently works aiming to create more secure, valuable and sustainable buildings, and communities. With almost 300 chapters, the AIA advocates for policies and public guidelines that result in economic vibrancy and public wellbeing.