Talk About It
Why AIA Matters
It’s more than three letters after your name – that is my experience and the sentiment of my professional colleagues that have experienced the wide range of benefits the AIA affords its members.
From my initial role as chair of AIA Dallas Committee on the Environment in 2002, I have been fortunate to hold 10 different leadership roles within the AIA as well as 14 leadership positions within allied organizations that have had a profound impact on my professional success. These roles always led to new friendships, important business contacts, opportunities to make public presentations, requests to write bylined articles, and invitations to share my expertise at colleges and universities. In addition, I have learned a tremendous amount from my colleagues outside of HKS – knowledge that helped me shape my career and be more effective in my practice. In the simplest of terms, the AIA has provided me a venue to learn and lead.
In addition to shaping my professional practice, the AIA has given me an avenue to advocate the value of the profession. Jeff Potter, 2012 AIA National President, used the analogy that our practice is the melody and our profession is the harmony. We need both to be effective professionals. As architects, we create great value, drive positive change, are visionary leaders, and we shape the future. We inspire one another, our clients, and our public policy makers to effect positive change in our world. It’s a noble profession and the AIA provides a venue to amplify its ideas and inspiration. Our collective voices better evangelize our profession’s creative capabilities. Your voice as an architect and the voice of your firm is much greater when combined with like-minded members of the Institute.
Recently, AIA Dallas reduced the dues for young architectural graduates who are not yet licensed, and our current Board of Directors is lobbying AIA National and the Texas Society of Architects to do the same. We need everyone in the profession, especially the young aspiring professionals, to have a voice and to benefit from what the AIA offers.
At HKS, we offer every licensed employee membership in a professional organization of their choice. For the architects, that is the AIA. We also offer Associate AIA membership and flexible work hours for architectural graduates who actively participate in the mission of the Institute. Many of them lead or participate in committees, present their knowledge at educational programs, or volunteer their time at events such as Home Tour or Celebrate Architecture. From their participation we see professional growth as future leaders, growth in critical technical skills needed for our complex profession, and valuable insight into the future of the profession and its practice. More importantly, we see them develop friends and acquaintances they will cherish throughout their lives.
HKS values its future leaders. We hope every firm will consider the value that membership holds – especially for those that will soon lead the profession.