Established in New York City in the year 1857 by 13 architects, the American Institute of Architects, or AIA, assists architects with the resources they need to produce work that will advance our country’s quality of life by focusing on safety and public health. It offers educational opportunities for architects and holds them to high ethical standards that they are expected to adhere to.

Before the AIA was founded, there were no schools of architecture or laws pertaining to the licensing of architects in the U.S., which made it easy for anyone to proclaim themselves an architect, whether they were properly trained in the profession or not. This was the reason why a constitutional document for architects consisting of bylaws was drawn up by the founding members of AIA in March of 1857 and signed on April 15th of that same year.

The AIA is headquartered in Washington, DC, and it has been reported as having over 90,000 members, and about 260 more worldwide. It has a Board of Directors, which it is governed by, and over 200 full-time employees, its CEO being a man named Robert Ivy. The group was initially called the New York Society of Architects until one of its members suggested that the name be changed to American Institute of Architects.

The 5 levels of membership in the AIA are: Architect members; Associate members; International Associate members; Emeritus members; and Allied members. The architect members are required to have a license to practice architecture by an American licensing authority, unlike the Associate members, who are not licensed architects, but who work under the supervision of a professional one.

International Associate architects are members who have received their architectural license outside of the U.S. And Emeritus members have to be at least 65 years of age, as well as having been an AIA member for 15 years in order to have this status. And they are usually debilitated in some way that prohibits them from being able to continue to work in the architecture industry.

Allied members are professional engineers who are in partnership with the AIA and the American Architectural Foundation. They are a part of the design, planning and landscape community.

The American Institute of Architects provides its members with contract documents, as well as with opportunities to advance in their profession. In addition to offering educational assistance, it also works to improve the profession’s public image through redevelopment and outreach methods.https://www.facebook.com/AIANational/

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