American Institute of Architecture Students
The American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) is an international organization for college-level students of architecture. It is the primary membership and advocacy organization for architecture students in the United States. It is modeled roughly on the professional association called the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The association publishes Crit, Journal of the AIAS (short for critique) and hosts an international convention for students and professionals called FORUM. The organization also fulfills an advocacy role by representing its members to the American Institute of Architects, the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), and the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). The organization was founded in 1956; it was originally called the 'National Architectural Student Association' (NASA).
- 1 History
- 2 AIAS Chapters
- 3 AIAS Forum hosts
- 4 Competitions
- 5 AIAS Officers
- 6 Footnotes
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
NASA: Before the Space Age
In 1956, architecture students established a continuing presence with the formation of NASA. Chapters are established at all of the schools of architecture and a regional governance network is formed by the students at the first Student Forum. The students also elect Jim Barry (of Rice Institute) as the first president. Having accomplished the task of organizing a disparate array of local student activities into a collective voice, these ambitious students of NASA plant the seed for the nationally organized student voice from which we benefit from today.
Like the presidents of more typical organizations, Barry serves as a part-time volunteer from his school with funding provided by The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and Washington-area architectural programs. During his term, NASA publishes the first issue of LINE magazine, has representatives involved on AIA committees and hosts many interesting programs at the Octagon. The members of NASA also attend the AIA Convention in Los Angeles, with special programs designed specifically for students.
From NASA to ASC/AIA
In 1958 the student organization is renamed the Association of Student Chapters, AIA (ASC/AIA). Despite this obvious connection to the AIA, the staff and leaders of the AIA are concerned in the early years about a separate student organization. It is believed this will conflict with their objective of encouraging students to maintain their memberships with the AIA. Nevertheless, it is still as a surprise at the 1960 student convention (held on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley) that the AIA board of directors is proposing to abolish the student organization. John Richards, FAIA, then president of the AIA states, "... [the student affiliations] of the past had not been as successful as had been hoped, and that it was feeling of the Staff of the AIA that student organization structure was in need of improvement."
Any such proposals are never adopted by the AIA due to the lobbying efforts of the student leaders. The students convince the AIA leaders that the student chapter system is the foundation for the AIA and for the promotion of architecture. However, the final remarks made by student president Charles Jones (of the University of Arizona) on this matter foreshadow what is to become. In his speech to the General Session of the AIA on April 22, 1960 he states, "The students have no desire to make this organization so large that it becomes completely out of hand." But things did get out of hand at the 1970 AIA Convention as student president Taylor Culver leads a student revolt. Minutes of the meeting report that Culver and his fellow students literally take over the podium from the AIA President and display their strength and solidarity.
The strength of the organization does indeed grow in all directions and the responsibilities of the officers coincide. So much so that two-term (1973–1975) president Fay D'Avignon (of the Boston Architectural Center) becomes the first ASC/AIA officer to take up full-time responsibilities in Washington, DC. This marks a new phase in the organization's efforts to become an autonomous voice of architectural students. This is a significant point when professionals and the AIA relinquish responsibilities to the ASC/AIA in many affairs that directly affect students.
From there the ASC/AIA truly develops into a unified national voice for students. The number of local chapters increases steadily as does the general membership. With the extra workload, it is clear that the vice president is needed on a full-time basis as well. In 1975 President Ella Hall (of North Carolina State) and Vice President Steve Biegel (of Syracuse University) becomes the first ASC/AIA dynamic duo in Washington. Also at this time the term for the national officers changes to the current July–June format which allows students to remain on their academic schedules.
The next pair of officers exhibits unbridled energy, resulting in a great number of new programs. The 1976–1977 Jerry Compton/Robert Rosenfeld team (SCI-ARC and University of California-Berkeley, respectively), demonstrates creativity and clarity of vision. Their most notable achievements include solidifying the ASC/AIA growing accounting operations, holding the first design competition, John Hopengarten Chairman, publishing the magazine Telesis, Bill Sadler Editor (which becomes Crit the next year—a name coined by Rosenfeld) and establishing student representation on the IDP Coordinating Committee. Crit celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2006.
The following year, Rosenfeld continues on as vice president, with Charles Guerin (of the University of Houston) taking the helm as president. These two officers start many current traditions: initiating the first ASC/AIA Chapter Honor Award and publishing the first issues of Crit, the student architectural magazine. They also hold perhaps the most unusual competition to date, which concludes with the construction of a hot air balloon that is then launched over the Pacific Ocean.
In 1978 came the team of John Jeronimo (University of Miami) and Mary Beth Permar (Clemson University and The University of Illinois). Their major accomplishments include the continuation and improvement of Crit from a magazine format to a true architectural journal; increasing the size of the Board of Directors to include the FORUM Chair and Crit Editor; and taking the overall operating budget of the ASC/AIA over the $100,000 mark for the first time in history. Jeronimo and Permar also set in motion the largest national design competition to date, the first McDonald's Competition, which includes over 650 entries. Only the Vietnam Memorial Design Competition draws more entries.
A New Autonomy: AIAS, Inc.
After several years of continued prosperity, the ASC/AIA arrives at a critical phase. The growth of the organization is beginning to outweigh the abilities and skills of two architecture students (the national officers). In 1984, after a thorough self-examination, President Tom Fowler (New York Institute of Technology-Old Westbury) accepts the recommendations of the Special Task Force organized to review the structure of the organization. Its suggestions include renaming the organization "The American Institute of Architecture Students" (AIAS), incorporating the organization and hiring a full-time Executive Director, Carl D. Costello, who quickly exhibits outstanding administrative skills and an understanding of the interests and concerns of architecture students. That year the organization is also formally incorporated in the Washington, DC as The American Institute of Architecture Students, Inc.
With a fresh name and new independence, the AIAS leadership takes to the task of developing the organization. President Scott Norberg (University of Nebraska) and Vice President Whitney Powers (Mississippi State University) dedicate themselves to examining issues that are critical to the architectural scene. The controversial Kent State Memorial Competition, with the rejection of Ian Taberner's award-winning proposal, sparks debate throughout the AIAS and becomes an issue at each national meeting. Participation at these meetings is exceptional: over 1,100 students attend the 1985 AIAS FORUM in New York.
Growth and Prosperity
The first meeting of AIAS Grassroots Leadership Conference was organized during the summer of 1985. Now in its 28th year, chapter leaders from around the country gather annually at the AIAS headquarters in Washington, DC to discuss chapter issues, community involvement and participate in the governance of the organization.
Also this year, the AIAS holds three national design competitions for the first time. In Norberg's second term, alongside Vice President Lee Waldrep (Arizona State University), the number of competitions increases to four; the AIAS initiates the Search for Shelter Program to address the growing issue of homelessness in America; and the AIAS contributes to the AIA Education Initiative by establishing the AIAS Outstanding Practitioner in Education award (which still exists today under a different name).
Norberg's successor, President Kent Davidson, combines forces with Vice President Karen Cordes (University of Arkansas). During their term, the Search for Shelter Program is further developed with design charrettes across the country. The AIAS also partners with Microtecture Corporation to initiate a computer software grants program providing 56 schools of architecture with Datacad computer software with an estimated retail value of $1,000,000.
The 1988-1989 school year sees several new developments taking place. AIAS accepts its first chapter outside the United States when the Council of Presidents votes to accept Ryerson Polytechnic Institute in Toronto, Ontario (Canada) as a full member. AIAS strengthens its commitment to the housing for the homeless issue with active participation in the Habitat for Humanity program. The "Partners in Education" is also founded. This sponsorship-based program provides interested individuals and corporations the opportunity to support students of architecture and the AIAS.
During the 1989-1990 academic year, the AIAS moves into new office space, increases the full-time national office positions to five and makes a major investment in desktop publishing software (which is very expensive at the time). The dues structure for local chapters is also revised to reflect a commitment to the organization by individual members, rather that a lump-sum from the entire school. One substantial outgrowth of this revision is the establishment of an active database which allows individual mailings of pertinent information to each AIAS member. A triumph for students this year is the inclusion of a standardized NAAB four-year degree language in college catalogs. This mandate is initiated by the AIAS and adopted by the five collateral architecture organizations the following year.
The 1990-1991 term sees the AIAS experience grow with the addition of thirteen chapters, which pushes membership to a then record 156 chapters. An additional full-time staff person is hired to coordinate AIAS competitions. This year's agenda is largely an affirmation of student commitment to environmental issues. The Environmental Action Committee (EAC) is established to gather information pertaining to environmental issues and their relationship to the design process, and disseminate this information to fellow students and educators. Two significant position papers on architectural education deficiencies and degree nomenclature are also presented to the collateral organizations during this term. These are included in a newly compiled, comprehensive set of AIAS governing documents.
The 1991-1992 officers, President Lynn N. Simon (University of Washington) and Vice President Kevin P. McGillycuddy (Washington-Alexandria Center), emphasize a devotion to the quality of career counseling and the internship experience. Five National Directors focus their endeavors on minority programs, affordable housing, women in architecture, community involvement and career options. The Five Presidents Declaration (the president of the five architecture collateral organizations), proposes a single designation for the professional degree in architecture, sparks discussion and debate among students, educators and practitioners.
At the beginning of the 1992-1993 term the officers and staff work to make the office's duties manageable while combating a budget deficit. But there is continued development when the office produces a new handbook for each chapter to use on the local level, while the 1992-1993 National Directors produce informational documents on career options and environmentally safe resources for the studio, and a video on women in architecture. A new system of regional coordinators is also set into place, the AIAS Long Range Plan is developed into a finished document, and the Sustainability Declaration is finalized for adoption by the four other collateral organizations. The membership is at 7,520.
1993-1994 President Garen D. Miller (Drury College) and Vice President Christine A. Malecki (Carnegie Mellon University) hire former AIAS Vice President Irene Dumas Tyson as Executive Director. The COP votes to double individual dues and the goal for the year is to maintain a high membership level. Indeed, the 1993-1994 membership grew to 8025. The AIAS enters the information highway with an e-mail address, involvement on the AIAOnline network, and develops of an all-electronic design competition. The COP approves a measure requiring all speakers invited to AIAS events to verify that they pay their interns legally-mandated wages. Following our lead, the board of directors of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) and the AIA adopt similar policies.
In 1995 the AIAS will soon celebrate forty years of history (including eleven years as an independent organization). But before the organization can get there, the leaders of the AIAS must confront a major challenge. In order to continue to grow and offer important services, a substantial dues increase is necessary. At the 1995 Grassroots conference the Council of Presidents is offered three options for membership dues: $12 (the fee at the time), $24 or $36. Taking the appropriate action, the COP votes to triple the dues to $36/school year. Unfortunately, the consequence of this action is 42% drop in membership to 3,980 members, although over 85% of the chapters remain active. The AIAS enters its 40th year with decreased membership but with leaders determined to re-grow the organization.
The next year, 1997-1998 President Robert L. Morgan (Clemson University) and Vice President Rachel Livingston Ahalt (University of Colorado Denver) spend their term focusing on the financial viability of the National Office, and organizing AIAS Legacy members (former officers and directors) to defeat a proposal by the AIA Board of Directors to investigate the creation of a student category of membership in the AIA. That proposal sparks more cohesiveness among AIAS members than has occurred in recent years and debates at the 1998 AIA Convention appear to reaffirm AIA members' support for the AIAS.
Heading Toward the 50th Year
The 21st Century begins with an exploration on the quality of the educational experience in the school-based design studios. The Board of Directors establishes a Studio Culture Task Force to study the effects of current architectural education practices on students and consider alternatives. Then in December 2002 the organization publishes The Redesign of Studio Culture that outlines the five values for the preferred culture in studios: engagement, innovation, optimism, respect and sharing. These values serve as a basis for making changes to the culture in studios. Two years later (in 2004) the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) adopts a 13th Condition for Accreditation (Condition 3.5) requiring schools to have a written policy regarding a positive learning environment in their studio environments. The AIAS also hosts a summit in 2004 to explore strategies for improving the studio experience.
The year 2002 sees the addition of two days to the Grassroots conference to focus on leadership education in collaboration with professionals from Georgetown University. The AIAS also reaches its healthiest financial position at the time with a strong organizational reserve and new investment policies (along with professional management). Other organizational improvements included a shift in the terms of Board of Directors to coincide with the Grassroots conference, the creation of personnel and finance committees, the initiation of a strategic planning process and a streamlining of the elections process.
In early 2003, Pam Kortan Day resigns as the Executive Director and the Board of Directors hires Michael V. Geary, CAE. Efforts then increase to better market the organization, increase membership, expand the fund raising efforts and prepare for the 50th anniversary. To that end, in 2004 the organization adopts a new logo and Web site. The new logo, with its alternating layered shapes, is both reflective of the past and forward thinking suggesting a progressive organization that is respectful of its history. It includes an iconic "A" in the middle representing a design compass and the "A"s in the organization's acronym. Also at this time the masthead and interior of Crit, Journal of the AIAS and AIASinfo (the bimonthly electronic newsletter) are redesigned (by the award winning firm Design Army) to properly reflect the modern design aesthetics of the members.
50 Years--The Gold Anniversary
In the year 2006 the AIAS celebrated fifty years of organizing students. While operating in an autonomous manner, the organization has not been alone over the years. Significant support is provided by organizations like The American Institute of Architects, Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, National Architectural Accrediting Board and the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. There are also numerous companies, trade associations and professionals who play an important role in ensuring the viability and continuity of the AIAS. More importantly, the 100,000 students involved over the years demonstrate the long-term capability and necessity of a non-profit, independent and student-run association.
-Intl = International Chapters
AIAS Forum hosts
AIAS administers various competitions throughout the year.
Charlie Klecha, President - School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Obiekwe Okolo, Vice President - University of Texas San Antonio
Westin Conahan, President - University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Jennifer Taylor, Vice President - Tuskegee University
Matthew A. Barstow, President - University of New Mexico
Brent A. Castro, Vice President - University of Tennessee Knoxville
Nick Mancusi, President - Taliesin, The Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture
Laura Meador, Vice President - Louisiana State University
Tyler W. Ashworth, President - University of Idaho
Danielle McDonough, Vice President - Northeastern University
Je'Nen M. Chastain, President – University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Brett Roeth, Vice President – Miami University
JW Blanchard, President – Southern Polytechnic State University
Deana Moore, Vice President – University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Andrew C. Caruso, President – Carnegie Mellon University
Tony P. Vanky, Vice President – Tulane University
Jonathan K. Bahe, President – University of Minnesota
Catherine McNeel, Vice President – Mississippi State University
Eric Zaddock, President – Andrews University
Matthew Fochs, Vice President – University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee
Jacob R. Day, President – University of Maryland
Trinity Simons, Vice President – University of Arkansas
Wayne Mortensen, President – University of Nebraska
Katherine Bojsza, Vice President – Carnegie Mellon University
Lawrence Fabbroni, President – Carnegie Mellon University
Jeanine Gunderson, Vice President – University of Idaho
Matthew Herb, President – University of Maryland
Aaron Koch, Vice President – University of Minnesota
Scott Baldermann, President – University of Nebraska
Nicole Kuhar, Vice President – University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee
Melissa Mileff, President – University of Oklahoma
John M. Cary, Jr., Vice President – University of Minnesota
Jay M. Palu, President – University of Nebraska
Amy J. Isenburg, Vice President – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Robert L. Morgan, President – Clemson University
Rachel Livingston Ahalt, Vice President – University of Colorado at Denver
Raymond H. Dehn, President – University of Minnesota
Casius Pealer, Vice President – Tulane University
Robert J. Rowan, President – Washington State University
Shannon Kraus, Vice President – Southern Illinois University
Dee Christy Briggs, President – City College of New York
Elizabeth M. Koski, Vice President – Arizona State University
Garen D. Miller, President – Drury College
Christine A. Malecki, Vice President – Carnegie Mellon University
Courtney E. Miller, President – University of Maryland
Leigh Chatham Hubbard, Vice President – North Carolina State University
Lynn N. Simon, President – University of Washington
Kevin P. McGillycuddy, Vice President – Washington-Alexandria Center
Alan D.S. Paradis, President – Roger Williams College
David T. Kunselman, Vice President – Carnegie Mellon University
Douglas A. Bailey, President – Montana State University
Catherine R. Miller, Vice President – University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee
Matthew W. Gilbertson, President – University of Minnesota
Irene Dumas Tyson, Vice President – Mississippi State University
Kent Davidson, President – University of Nebraska
Karen Cordes, Vice President – University of Arkansas
Scott Norberg, President – University of Nebraska
Lee W. Waldrep, Ph.D., Vice President – Arizona State University
Scott Norberg, President – University of Nebraska
Whitney Powers, Vice President – Mississippi State University
Thomas Fowler IV, President – NYIT–Old Westbury
Christine Reinke, Vice President – University of Miami
Robert Fox, President – Temple University
Darrel Babuk, Vice President – Montana State University
Robert Klancher, President – University of Cincinnati
Christina Vina, Vice President – Texas Tech University
Bill Plimpton, President – University of California at Berkeley
Nora Klebow, Vice President – Kent State University
Alejandro Barbarena, President – University of Houston
Margie Miller, Vice President – Arizona State University
Richard Martini, President – Boston Architectural Center
Kimberly Stanley, Vice President – Clemson University
John Maudlin-Jeronimo, President – University of Miami
Mary Beth Permar, Vice President – Clemson University
Charles Guerin, President – University of Houston
Robert Rosenfeld, Vice President – University of California at Berkeley
Jerry Compton, President Southern – California Inst. of Architecture
Robert Rosenfeld, Vice President – University of California at Berkeley
Ella Hall, President – North Carolina State University
Steve Biegel, Vice President – Syracuse University
Patric Davis, President – Boston Architectural Center
Ella Hall, Vice President – North Carolina State University
Fay D’Avignon, President – Boston Architectural Center
Perry Reader, Vice President – University of Florida
Fay D’Avignon, President – Boston Architectural Center
Patrick Delatour, Vice President – Howard University
Joseph Siff, President – Rice University
Robert Graham, Vice President – Howard University
Mark Maves, Vice President – University of California at Berkeley
James Miller, Vice President – University of California at Berkeley
Bruce Webb, Vice President – Montana State University
Michael Interbartolo, President – Boston Architectural Center
Stephan Castellanos, Vice President – California Polytechnic State
Gene Lindman, Vice President – University of Illinois at Chicago
Jack Mathis, Vice President – Auburn University
Taylor Culver, President – Howard University
Jim Kollaer, Vice President – Texas Tech University
Jim Brown, Secretary/Treasurer – Georgia Institute of Technology
Edward Mathes, President – University of Southwestern Louisiana
Ray Franklin Kenzie, Vice President – Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Richard Kidwell, Secretary/Treasurer – Arizona State University
Morten Awes, President – University of Idaho
Jack Worth III, President – Georgia Institute of Technology
Kenneth Alexander, President – Pratt Institute
Joseph Morse, President – Howard University
Carl Schubert, President – California State Polytechnic University
Donald Williams, President – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Ray Gaio, President – University of Notre Dame
Alexi Vergun, Vice President – Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Charles Jones, President – University of Arizona
Alexi Vergun, Vice President – Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Paul Ricciutti, President – Case Western Reserve University
Eugene Burr, Vice President
Allen Roth, Secretary/Treasurer
Robert Harris, President – Princeton University
James R. Barry, President – Rice University
Robert Harris, Vice President - Princeton University
Laurie M. Maurer, Secretary/Treasurer
- The first Forum is held in November 1955 at the Octagon in Washington, DC and the student delegates elected leaders to represent them. This annual event is strictly a governance meeting (just for the student chapter representatives). NASA also hosts an annual convention (the first in November 1958), which is usually held in conjunction with the AIA Convention. However, governance issues are discussed at each convention. In 1960, the meeting minutes of the student board of directors report the exploration of separating the activities so that "business would transpire...at the Forum, thus permitting the Convention time to be devoted more to the topic of architecture itself." Today, the AIAS still organizes Forum and it is the sole annual convention of the association.
- It was not until 1985 that the student organization was incorporated as a separate entity from the AIA. Until then, the students were considered members of the AIA and were serviced by the various departments of that organization. The AIA also provides significant funding to support the group's activities.
- The AIAS, Inc. received its status as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 1983.
- Chapters have also been organized in other countries and territories like France, Kuwait, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the United Arab Emirates.
- The previous logo (referred by many as the "Dancing Bunnies") was designed in 1985 by Kim Murray of Montana State University.
- American Architectural Foundation (AAF)
- National Organization of Minority Architecture Students (NOMAS)
- Society of Architectural Historians (SAH)