The AIA, also known as the American Institute of Architects, is based in Washington, DC. This group is an NGO, that works to support the profession. Another purpose of the AIA is to influence policymakers, on what’s in the best interest of the general public. Led by Executive Vice President and CEO Robert Ivy, the group has made significant progress over the years in many areas, especially environmental policies. People may wonder why architects would be interested in politics. The answer is rather simple. We are all consumers of architecture, as it shapes where we live, work, and, even where we play.
The profession has been somewhat undermined in recent decades. Public awareness of the work that architects do, has been the main focus of Robert Ivy and the AIA. Mechanical engineers and, a growing overseas segment of engineers, are flooding the field. The AIA feels it must demand fair pay for architects, especially new professionals entering the field. The organization provides educational opportunities, fellowships, and, even support while still in college. The AIA also shares information with these, and all other professional architects, through the organization. Continuing education opportunities are made available by the AIA.
One of the most important things the AIA establishes for all professionals is a code of ethics. These bylaws are not only meant for architects but, also for paraprofessionals and all others involved with the daily operations in the field. It also provides an explanation of the roles and duties of all professionals, in relation to how they work within the organizational structure. This rigid structure, and, the professional guidelines, give a solid foundation of expectations in the field and in the organization.
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The AIA also provides acknowledgment for, those who make significant contributions to the field of architecture. The organization also provides its members to have the suffix of AIA after their names. This adds a level of credibility by, showing that they are professional and, are ethically sound individuals. Support is also given to small business, which makes up much of the professional structure in the field. This support is especially helpful to those who may struggle to be competitive without this extra support. Fair compensation, and, fair bidding practices are also addressed by Robert Ivy and, the AIA.
In a world where the environment and resources are major concerns, the AIA takes on the opponents. Often going against the grain, the AIA stands by its principles, and, its members to give support as needed. Especially in the current political climate, It’ll be interesting to see where the AIA leads the profession over the next few years.