Also known as AIA, the American Institute of Architects is a profession organizations meant for architects and is based in the United States. The main offices of the organization are situated in Washington DC. AIA provides government advocacy, education, community redevelopment as well as public outreach so as to offer support to the profession of architect and enhance its public image.
The organization also collaborates with other members of the construction and design team to assist in coordinating the building industry. Robert Ivy is currently the head of the organization where he holds the position of CEO/EVP. The position of president is held by Thomas V. Vonier.
Established in New York City in the year 1857, The American Institute of Architects was started by a group of thirteen architects with the aim of promoting the practical and scientific perfection of all its members. They also aimed at elevating the standards of the profession. The initial members of the group were Edward Gardiner, Fred A. Peterson, John Welch, Joseph C. Wells, Charles Babcock, Leopold Eidlitz, Jacob Wrey Mould, Henry W. Cleaveland, Richard M. Upjohn, Henry Dudley and Richard Morris Hunt. Before AIA was established, it was possible for anyone to claim that they were architects since there were no architectural licensing laws as well as architecture schools in the United States at the time.
Initially, the organization was registered under the name of New York Society of Architects. After a short time, many architects from different parts of country started joining the organization and it soon became big. AIA currently has over 90,000 licensed architects as well as associated professionals. The organization has five levels of membership, namely; Architect members, associate members, Emeritus members, International associate members and Allied members. The FAIA designation is the most prestigious honor of AIA’s members as a fellow to the American Institute of Architects. It is normally given to members who have managed to make significant national contributions to the architect profession. The American Institute of Architects is governed by a complete Board of Directors and has employed a staff of more than 200 employees who work full time. The organization monitors regulatory and legislative actions and then uses the collective strength of its membership to take part in decision making by the state, federal as well as local policy makers. AIA runs honors program for all its members which include Architecture Firm Award, AIA Gold Medal and AIA/ACSA Topaz Medallion for Excellence in Architectural Education.
Check aiaaustin.org for more information about the organization.