Organizations are established and designed to promote, protect, and support the industries for which they represent. In most instances, it is a way of ensuring the validity of the members. Many organizations, associations, and clubs have eligibility requirements that must be met before a person can become a member. Often times it is the qualifications or certifications of a field or profession that determines if a person can be a member. The American Institute of Architects was established for just that reason, to distinguish real architects from those who just claim to be an architect.
The American Institute of Architects was founded in 1857 by in New York City. It was organized as a way of promoting the scientific talents of all of the members. Their by laws and constitution was agreed upon in that same year. It was first named the New York Society of Architects, but changed the name later during that same year. At the time that these architects came together, anyone who had put mortar on a brick called themselves an architect. There were no architectural schools in the United States at that time, so the profession relied on an inborn talent that not many people possessed. Their constitution was amended the following year as their mission became focused on promotion and recognition of the scientific values of the artistic profession.
The American Institute of Architects is headquartered in Washington, D. C., with more than three hundred chapters in other major cities. It has a staff of more than two hundred employees, and is governed by a Board of Directors. The organization has an influence on government practices, and the American quality of life. It participates in every form of decision making on the federal, the state and local levels, by using the combined powers of the members. Also, through their many community based programs, the American Institute of Architects designs affordable housing for people in the United States.
The members of the AIA are constantly receiving professional development to enhance their professional skills, and to maintain updates on the needs of the people. The organization continues to raise public awareness to the importance of good design, and the value of architecture. They have received numerous awards for outstanding achievement, and their support for the profession of Architecture. One such institute honor was for restoration, and new projects any where around the world. The American Institute of Architects recognizes new architectural students.
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