Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Nothing American about the American Institute of Architects anymore

Two years ago today my architect friend passed away. He was a 40+ year practitioner who still drew by hand most of his work in traditional styles. Unlike most registered architects in the Boston area, he was not a member of the American Institute of Architects, nor he was required by law to be one. (I know many who aren't AIA members and are successful.) Despite exceeding the amount of continuing ed. credits required for license renewal in most states, the AIA elitism isn't necessarily producing sustainable results for the protection of American architects and their jobs. 

This month's issue of Architectural Record features the monthly introduction column from the magazine's editor pretty much ripping Robert Ivy, FAIA for initially promising to work with the Trump Administration. (After outcry from AIA members, he recanted.) The column then rips the Republican Party for wanting to put limits on legal immigration by reducing the amount of visas issued, and further accuses the GOP for not going along with the climate change propaganda. The column also explicitly states that more Women and African Americans must become architects (which there are plenty where I'm from anyway). 

While the Boston Society of Architects, the Eastern Mass. AIA chapter (and the nation's oldest) supports climate change because the most of the City of Boston are man-made  landfill extensions of the Shawmut Peninsula, this might not be appropriate for other parts of the country. For example, the New England climate actually changes seasonally, so we New Englanders actually witness true climate change on a quarterly basis. When snow falls in Florida by fluke, everyone panics. 

Again, I am not ripping individual dues-paying AIA architect-members because their national office decided to recant support for the new President of the United States. They are hard-working men and women who've sacrificed most of their young adulthood to get where they are today: licensed to practice architecture. (I know a bunch of them.) But since there are no mention of building codes in the Constitution, I would expect a once-fully patriotic organization with "American" in it's name to embrace Federalism and the Tenth Amendment. Building codes are state and local statutes because of local meteorology. 

The AIA should not be a political organization and should focus on its own dues-paying membership. I suggest that if you are a dues paying AIA member and if you are offended by what your bosses said, then you should not renew your membership and professionally go by "John Doe, Architect."

Many of us are having trouble finding work in the field of architecture because of the preference of the visa holder in most major cities. Since an architect is not a floor sweeper I'm not going to rip someone who's no trouble from working in the United States, but people like me have been left behind deliberately, in my humble opinion. 

Yours truly, someone who could actually pass the architect licensure test and knows what's going on, lost a scholarship because of obeying the law. How long are good professional people going to get screwed? 

Make Architecture Great Again!

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