The History And Purpose Of The American Institute Of Architects

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is an organization in the United States that instills professionalism among architects and architecture students. The AIA was founded in 1857 with the aim of promoting practical and scientific perfection, among its members and enhance the global reputation of the profession. As an NGO, it creates a platform for government support and recommendation and provides public education on matters related to the architecture profession. In conjunction with other bodies and members, it assists in the construction industry coordination


In 1857, 13 architects joined up to establish the AIA with Richard Upjohn as the president. The members drafted bylaws and a constitution that was signed on the 15th of April that same year and later amended the year that followed. Currently, the AIA headquarter is based at 1735New YORK Avenue, NW in Washington, DC.


Membership has been granted to at least 90,000 authorized architects and professional affiliates. There are rules and regulations set to govern the professional behavior of all its members, with the aim of improving confidence from the stakeholders such as; the public, colleagues and the clients that the organization offers quality services.

Public Education

In the interest of the architects and the public, the AIA conducts public forums and awareness programs to show the value of good design and architecture. Also, it performs surveys and poll, that asks the public to suggest their favorite architectural plans and works, and even awards its members for outstanding performance and achievements.


The AIA has over 200 staff working full-time and is managed by a Board of Directors. It has over 300 local branches within the states and components throughout Europe Japan and the UK.


As an affiliated organization, AIA members impacts on government actions and practices that have an effect on the profession and the livelihood of the general public. AIA together with local authorities and legislators work to improve the designs and of infrastructure, housing and public spaces while trying to recover affordability to all Americans.


Members of AIA benefit immensely as the institute offers development opportunities, design information, resources and personal enrichment services.

In conclusion, we can say that AIA is an organization that was founded long ago and it has been able to withstand the test of time due to many reasons such as; proper management, providing guiding principles to the staff so that they offer high-quality professional services to the public. Members of the organization maintain a high profile in the society since their profession has gained recognition and confidence of the people.