All You Need To Know About The American Institute of Architect (AIA)

December 21, 2017

The American Institute of Architect (AIA) prides itself as the voice of all architectural professionals in the United States. Its headquarters are located in Washington, D.C., and it offers its members education, government advocacy, and support to help them improve their profession and public image. Robert Ivy, a renowned architect, is the current Executive Vice President and CEO of The American Institute of Architect (AIA).


The American Institute of Architect was launched in 1857 after a group of 13 architects, based in New York City, noticed that architects did not have an organization that would help them protect and improve their profession. The initial group was only made up of the 13 architects, with Richard Upjohn serving as the organization’s first President. The organization was up and running, but it was not as strong as they expected it to be. For this reason, Richard Upjohn called for a meeting, and they unanimously agreed to invite 16 other renowned architects to join them. The invitees included Calvert Vaux, Alexander Jackson Davis, and Thomas U. Walter.

Before the formation of the AIA, it was hard for people to differentiate between qualified and unqualified architects because there were no architecture institutions, architectural licensing laws, or regulation in the United States. After the 16 architects agreed to join the organization, they all met again on March 10, 1857, to draft a constitution and bylaws that would govern the organization. The organization was first called New York Society of Architects. A Philadelphian architect, Thomas Ustick Walter, later suggested the name to be changed to what it is today. Is the organization only for architects? Well, it was initially, but it now works for all members of the building industry such as designers and construction teams.  Follow AIA on

Since its inception, the professional organization has attracted more than 90,000 approved architects and related professionals. All its members follow a code of professional conduct designed to ensure they offer their colleagues, clients, and the public exceptional services. There are five membership levels in the AIA. They include the following: Architect Members, Associate Members (Assoc. AIA), Emeritus Members, International Associate Member and Allied Members. The organization is headed by a Board of Director and employs more than 200 full-time employees.

About Robert Ivy

Robert Ivy is the current CEO and Executive Vice President of the AIA. The exceptional CEO earned his Master’s degree in Architecture from Tulane University. Before he became CEO at the AIA, Ivy worked as the Chief Editor of the Architectural Record in 1996. Throughout his career, Ivy has been a recipient of many awards, including Crain Award, which is the highest recognition anyone in the business can possibly get.

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