American Institute Of Architects: Raising The Bar In Architecture

About a decade and a half ago, architectural designs were straightforward. They were expected to meet all the requirements of supervising bodies, but not required to be anything out of the ordinary. Of course, exceptions exist such as the Octagon House, which is an architectural masterpiece, but those designs are few and far between. Today, architects have become more creative and bold.

The Body Behind The Brains

The AIA, American Institute of Architects, was founded in New York City 160 years ago and is currently headquartered in Washington DC. The 13 founding architects aimed at elevating the standing of the profession and promoting the practical and scientific perfection of its members. The mission continues to date and membership has since skyrocketed to over 90,000 licensed members of the profession.

Architects under AIA are bound by a code of ethics that is meant to assure clients of the highest standards of the profession. Over the years, architects have embraced new technologies as well as sustainability in their designs.

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Five Tiers

AIA membership is divided into five levels.

Architect members are those licensed to practice by recognized bodies in the U.S. Associate members are those professionals still working towards licensure. These members have met the educational qualifications required by AIA, but they are still under the supervision and mentorship of a licensed architect.

International associate members have studied the course and are licensed to practice architecture in other countries outside the U.S. Emeritus members are the veteran architects aged 65 and over who have been members of AIA organization for at least 15 consecutive years. They may be capacitated and no longer practicing the profession, but they are recognized for their qualification, exposure, and lengthy membership.

The last group under AIA membership, Allied members, is made up professionals in the design and building community. This group includes landscape artists and engineers, and here the AIA partners with the American Architectural Foundation.

Every Design Is Unique

Did you know that the brain reacts to architectural stimuli? Well, it does according to Dr. Eve Edelstein, Assoc. AIA. This is the main reason each design should cater to the environment and the people using the facility. A health center will differ from a sports arena as will a casino. Dr. Edelstein’s observation makes us appreciate the effort that goes into each architectural design and the people behind them.

Thomas Vonier is currently the president of the AIA while Robert Ivy is CEO.