Designing a Better Future for the Country: American Institute of Architects

     The American Institute of Architects (AIA) was founded on a strong premise back in 1857. That premise was to establish and redefine architecture that is viable and sustainable. It is important to note here that the AIA’s original mission was to promote architecture and architects. That premise hasn’t changed.

The AIA has helped thousands of architects establish and grow in their field. Education and networking was an early component that spurred innovative designs and creative types of architecture. Many famous architects like William Thornton were supported by AIA.

The AIA created divisions that included city planning and urban renewal. The establishment of industry standards in the early 1900’s provided guidelines that are still used today. One of the greatest accomplishments that the AIA achieved was the establishment of a historic buildings survey in 1933. The survey provided much needed information about historic buildings and incentives to save them from demolition.

Accessibility standards were one of the recent accomplishments. These standards helped thousands of disabled residents gain access to their homes and business. The AIA provided minorities opportunities to learn architecture and become architects in the late 1960’s. Their contributions have provided insights that wouldn’t have been encouraged or noted at an earlier time period.

International chapters of the organization opened even more vistas as architects shared innovative designs and architecture in 1993. These chapters reflect the global scope of American practices. It also provides members with a means of practicing other techniques and design protocols.

Disaster recovery became one of the biggest projects of the AIA. Design experts, concerned citizens and other members of affected communities banded together to come up with long range plans. The devastation of Hurricane Katrina spurred action with many eagerly willing to help rebuild New Orleans. Other devastating hurricanes followed that made the efforts of the organization a more permanent fixture.

The push for clean air and less carbon output in the early 2000’s led to the creation of carbon neutral buildings. The AIA’s commitment to zero carbon emission by 2030 has very strong support by the current CEO Robert Ivy. Ivy’s mission is to help create a better built environment for future generations. He believes that newer environmental standards will ultimately provide a safer and cleaner Earth. His commitment to the nation’s quality of life shows in his willingness to push the climate change agenda.