The American Institute of Architects, abbreviated as AIA, is located in the United States and it has its headquarters in Washington D.C. It is an organization that is made up of a team of professional architects. The main aim of this organization is to give support and improve the public image of the architecture community. They do these by doing outreach to the public, giving education, providing government advocacy and redeveloping the community at large. Besides from that, AIA works hand in hand with other organizations in design and construction to uplift the building industry.
Robert Ivy is the head of AIA who also serves as the Chief Executive Officer. The AIA was established in 1857, in New York City. AIA came about from 13 architects whose main aim was to uplift the standards of architecture as a profession and to perfect the skills of its members. The 13 original architects decided to come together in February of 1857.
They held a meeting and decided to incorporate 16 other well-known architects and together these architects formed the American Institute of Architects. Before AIA was formed, anyone could say that they are an architect since there were neither architectural schools nor architectural licensing laws.
In the same year when AIA was formed, they came up with a constitution and laws which would be used to govern the society of architects. Initially, AIA was known as New York Society of Architects. That was before one of the architects suggested that the name changed to AIA. In April 1857, they filed for a certificate of incorporation and later they signed their new constitution.
After one year the team of architects decided to amend the already existing constitution with the aim of empowering its members artistically, practically and scientifically. Amending the constitution also aimed at serving other purposes but the main goal was to promote and uplift architecture as a profession.
AIA expanded its operations to other cities. That was because other architects were requesting to join the organization. By the year 2008, AIA had over 300 chapters with its headquarters in Washington D.C, and in New York. To select an architect who would head the designing of AIA building, they decided to hold a competition in the mid-1960s. Unfortunately, the architect who won the competition did not get the endorsement from USA Commission of Fine Arts. At the moment AIA has over 90,000 registered licensed architects and related professionals.