How the American Association of Architects is Helping Architects and Associated Professionals Achieve Success in their Careers

The renowned American Institute of Architects (AIA) is a Washington DC-based professional association that was established in 1857. The professional association was founded by 13 architects whose shared vision was to empower the profession of architecture and promote the practical and scientific capabilities of its members. Today, AIA is known for supporting architects through community redevelopment, education, public outreach and government advocacy.

AIA’s leadership team comprises of Thomas Vonier (the president) and Robert Ivy (the EVP/ CEO). This team initially comprised of Richard Upjohn (the first president), Charles Babcock, Edward Gardiner and John Welch among others. Before AIA was established, people used to practice architecture without licenses or academic certificates.

Robert Ivy

Robert Ivy spent most of his career as a spokesperson for architectural professionals. He previously worked with McGraw-Hill Construction as a senior editor of Architectural Record and overall VP and editorial director. His advocacy work focused on the social and political issues that affect the field of architecture.

Ivy is also an accomplished public speaker and author. He authored a book (“Fay Jones: Architect”) that received positive reviews for its high standards of production and design. He attended Tulane University for a master’s degree in architecture and the University of the South for a B.A in English. As AIA’s CEO, Ivy oversees the organization’s investigations into the future of architecture as a professional practice.

AIA’s members

For one to become a member of AIA, one has to uphold certain professional standards. AIA’s membership team comprises of over 90,000 accredited architects and related professionals. AIA’s five levels of membership consist of architect members, associate members, international associate members, emeritus members and allied members.

Architect membership applies to individuals who have been credited by the relevant authorities to indulge in architectural activities in the US. Consequently, associate membership applies to those who have not yet acquired accreditation but they have earned academic certification and are working under the supervision of an accredited architect. International associate membership applies to those who were licensed outside the U.S.

Emeritus membership is for those with over 15 years architect membership and 65 years of age. Allied membership applies to people with expertise in fields related to architecture. These individuals include planners, engineers and landscape architects.

Service and structure

AIA is on the verge of influencing government practices that have an impact on the professional lives of its members. The organization achieves this goal by monitoring regulatory and legislative actions and participating in local, state and federal policy-making activities. As a professional organization, AIA is manned by a board of directors and a professional team of more than 200 employees. Check more: