Should “the AIA be abolished”?

On Monday, one of our blog writers posted an essay that was out of line with the mission of this blog. Within the first few sentences the post stated “the AIA should be abolished.” It went on to claim fraud within chapters of AIAS, bashing the IDP program and describing the AIA as “a bunch of old people sitting around debating mission statements rather than a group of action, progress and representation.” In general, stating there was little to no value in the AIA and its related organizations. We removed his writing from this blog as soon as possible and called an immediate team meeting.

Our Standards

Last year, this blog team developed and agreed to a set of rules and guidelines to direct the tone of each post.

  1. This is not an egocentric blog. Posting for selfish intent or vanity is frowned upon.
  2. Posts should be thought provoking. It should be the contributor’s goal to start discussions not just vent frustrations. It is intended that this is a blog for the readers to engage and discuss together.

The goal in the posts is to educate, encourage and entertain. As a team we agree that his post clearly broke this agreed upon code of conduct and therefore we stand by the decision to have the post removed.

Not Censorship

We’d like to make it clear that the post was not removed for censorship of content. His allegations of fraud within the AIAS organization could have been made known through other outlets besides our AIA-sanctioned blog. Just like the AIA, AIAS is a non-profit and their financial records have to be transparent. Making such harmful claims on the blog endangered the rest of us being held as libelous.

As a team, we believe it is totally valid to question the value of an AIA membership. Approximately 50% of the architects in Colorado are not AIA members, so clearly there are reasons for not joining the organization. The team agreed that these reasons could have been written about in a constructive manner as opposed to his method. As a result of his actions, this person will no longer be writing for the AIA Colorado Emerging Professionals Blog.

Should the AIA be abolished? I firmly disagree.

The AIA gives an organized and united voice for the profession to its members, to the community at large and to the government. It allows many outlets for architects to volunteer to help the organization for the greater good, from Committee on the Environment (COTE), to Public Affairs, to Government Affairs and others.

It’s true there are naysayers, but like any community – you get out of it what you put into it. Instead of pointing at the problems of AIA, as a member you can be part of the solution. I did. I created this blog because there wasn’t an outlet for Emerging Professionals like this out there in the world. I am so grateful to have the community of AIA Colorado to support and encourage this effort.

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