The Contribution of American Institute of Architects (AIA)

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is a well-known body for approved architects and other emerging professionals in the building industry. The association has its headquarters in Washington, D.C., and has more than 200 full-time employees. The professional organization serves its members by providing education, information, and support. Simply put, the AIA helps its members improve their profession and public image. The AIA is currently under the leadership of Robert Ivy, who serves as the organization’s Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer.

When Was The Organization Founded?

The idea to start the American Institute of Architects (AIA) was hatched in 1857 after 13 New York-based architects noticed that there was no organization that represented architects in the building world. The 13 architects became the organization’s first members. After some time, however, they noticed that the organization needed more members for it to be as strong as they wanted it to be. In February 1857, Richard Upjohn, who served as the organization’s first President, called for a meeting and convinced more architects to join the organization. They unanimously supported the idea and invited 16 prominent architects to join the association. Visit to know more about AIA.

After the 16 architects joined the organization, Richard called for another meeting in March 1857, to discuss the way forward and draft the organization’s constitution and bylaws. In 1860, architects and associated building professionals from other cities asked to join the AIA, and by 1880s, the organization had offices in Albany, Boston, Indianapolis, San Francisco, Chicago, Baltimore, St, Louis, Rhode Island, Washington, and Philadelphia. Now that the organization had expanded to other states, Thomas U Walter, an architect from Philadelphia suggested the name be changed from the New York Society of Architects to the American Institute of Architects (AIA). In 2008, the professional organization had penetrated all the states in the U.S. and now accepts international membership.

Today, the AIA has more than 90,000 certified architects and associated professionals. The AIA has five membership levels that include Associate Members (Assoc. AIA), Architect Members (AIA), International Associate Members, Allied Member and Emeritus Members.

About AIA’s current CEO, Robert Ivy

Robert Ivy is a renowned architect and an influential businessman. He went to Sewanee, The University of the South, where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in English. The exceptional architect also holds a Master’s degree in Architecture from Tulane University. Before he was appointed as CEO of AIA, Robert served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Architectural Record.

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