The American Institute of Architects, AIA, began in 1857 after a group of 13 architects decided to promote perfection and create awareness of architects in America. The organization now comprises of around 200 employees and has its headquarters in Washington, DC. The work of the AIA is to serve its members by offering advocacy, information and ensuring they operate in unison like a community.
Before the AIA was formed, anyone was able to claim to be an architect. There were no architectural schools nor governing bodies to issue licenses. In 1857, the AIA drafted a set of rules and guidelines that were approved by all members. The members then signed up a new constitution that was aimed at promoting artistic, scientific, and professional members. The architectural constitution of the AIA comprises of over 300 chapters that were formed in various American states.
Today the AIA comprises of over 90,000 licensed architects. All of whom are professionals. The members adhere to the association’s code of ethics. Whenever they face clients, they are intended to conduct themselves professionally and assure them of their high standards of professionalism.
The AIA creates architectural awareness to its members by planning annual educational trips to hundreds of them. During these seminars, the members are advised on how best to go about their professions to maintain their licenses. They also set industry standards, promote the value of outstanding architectural design, provide online content for new architecture professionals, and market studies that advice on economic factors that affect those in the profession.
The AIA ensures that all its members practice in a professional manner to better the quality of American lives. Through regular community-based workshops, they are able to work with the federal legislators as well as local governments to promote the designing of public spaces, development of affordable housing solutions, and protect the country’s infrastructure as a whole. By using their collective power to have their members participate in policy-making activities, the AIA ensures the local, state and federal policies do not affect the member’s operations negatively.
Robert Ivy serves as the Chief Executive Officer of AIA. He is a holder of both a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree. He was born in Mississippi and is an architect by profession. Ivy resides in Washington, D.C. In 2009, he received the G.D. Crain Award. This was thanks to his lifetime contributions to outstanding content in the business media. In 2020, he was voted unanimously as a “Master Architect” due to his effective communication on the value of design.