The American Institute of Architects is a three-tiered professional association of architects. The “Institute,” as the national level is sometimes called, is the parent organization. In addition, there are state chapters or “components,” (AIA California Council), and local chapters.
AIA East Bay is a local chapter of The American Institute of Architects that serves architects and the public in the four northern California counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Napa and Solano. The chapter has been in existence since 1947 and has grown from a group of 30 Charter Members to a current membership of more than 900. Our membership includes architects, design professionals, licensure candidates, students. Allied professionals such as contractors, engineers, specifiers, business consultants, etc. are also important members of our chapter.
The purpose of the organization is to further the art and science of architecture. AIA East Bay strives to advance these goals by:
- Providing continuing education for architects and other design professionals in the areas of business methods, technical development, design excellence, marketing techniques, practice management, project management.
- Communication to members in the form of a monthly newsletter, seminars, workshops, chapter meetings, receptions, and committee meetings.
- Assistance to the community through leadership in disaster relief efforts and other community-based service, in addition to members’ service on local government bodies and community organizations.
- Advising legislators on legislation related to the profession.
- Distribution of standard documents and publications used by the construction industry such as AIA Standard Forms of Agreement between the architect/owner, owner/contractor, architect/consultant, etc.
- Providing a referral service to the public, and answering questions about what architects “do”, how to hire one, what to expect in the working relationship.
- Supporting the next generation of architects in their endeavors to become licensed.
- Working with allied professions on issues of mutual interest and concern.
Through a strong committee structure, the chapter addresses the needs of a broad-based membership. There are currently committees at work on issues such as the Environment, Exam Seminars, Historic Preservation, and Small Firms.
The chapter has an outstanding reputation as a provider of professional development seminars. AIA East Bay seminars for candidates preparing to take the architectural licensing examination are highly regarded.
The chapter and the College of Environmental Design, UC Berkeley, co-sponsor an annual joint lecture with guest speakers such as: Charles Gwathmey, Robert Frasca, Ricardo Legoretta, Barton Myers, Antoine Predock, Hugh Hardy, Robert Kliment, James I Freed, Ralph Johnson, Rob Wellington Quigley, William Pedersen, Peter Q. Bohlin, Billie Tsien and Tod Williams, and Sam Mockbee.