The Architect’s Voice: AIA Advocacy Explained

noun: advocacy
public support for or recommendation of a particular cause or policy

The AIA has a dedicated portion of their website and organization for advocacy. In their words:

“AIA’s is the voice of architecture to legislators at the federal, state, and local level. Here you can engage your legislators and use AIA tools and resources to develop skills as an advocate to build power for architects.”

The advocacy page is divided into different categories you can get involved:

  • Citizen Architect
  • Federal Issues
  • State and local
  • Codes
  • International
  • Relationships
  • Resources
  • Climate Change

Let’s take a closer look at each category.

Citizen Architect

Citizen Architects are nominated, and are individuals who are involved in their communities and making efforts to change policies aligned with the AIA’s agenda. Each month, a Citizen Architect is featured on AIA’s website. This month features Jenine Kotob, Assoc. AIA for example.

Federal Issues

On behalf of its members, the AIA engages with policymakers on issues that impact architects and the communities they serve. The role of the organization is lobbying and educating about regulations and policies and how they impact the built environment. The responsibility of the members is to speak to policymakers about their expertise and experience. The AIA Board of Directors provides issues that are a priority, so that, members are aligned and focused on the same goals. The six federal issues identified are: climate action, housing, resilience, school safety, student debt, and business taxes. You can find out how to get involved here:

State and local

There is an opportunity to affect change at the state and local level as well. AIA has five top priorities at this level: School Safety, Resilience, Sustainability, Housing, and 21st Century City Architect. The last priority addresses the challenges faced by today’s cities. These challenges vary based on size, values, and governing structures. The City Architect initiative responds appropriately to the individual needs of the city they serve.

South Dakota has a committee dedicated to the efforts of advancing statewide concerns. Checkout more information here:


This program helps architects influence code development and adoption at national, state, and local levels. Their focus is better codes for safer buildings and encourage states to use updated model building codes and increase disaster assistance grants. This program also focuses on streamlining codes, ratings, and permits.

International, Relationships, Resources

Read more on AIA’s Advocacy website here:

Climate Change

Check out the article “Where we stand: climate action”

In Summary

It’s important as an organization to publish priorities in order to establish a united front against the issues facing the building industry today. It is even more important for members to take action. AIA advocacy gives a voice to architects to express concerns and influence the policies that impact the built environment and the practice of architecture. Education is the best way to advance the profession and it’s priorities.

Leave a Reply