The American Institute of Architects Washington Council (AIA|WA) is a professional society comprised of registered architects in the State of Washington. There are several different divisions within the American Institute of Architects (AIA): national, regional, state, and local. The AIA|WA is a State arm of the AIA and is focused primarily on policy and politics.

The AIA|WA works for architects by representing them on a broad spectrum of issues including but not limited to: sustainability, liability, licensing, taxes, employment and more. Further, the AIA|WA protects architects by participating in political races and election campaigns. The AIA|WA participates in election activities through the Architects Political Action Committee (APAC).

While the AIA was first present in Seattle in 1881, the AIA|WA was established later, in 1962. The AIA|WA was formed on the belief that the profession needed to advocate with one clear, consistent voice to government and industry. Therefore, the AIA|WA: lobbies; maintains relations with the Governor’s Office, legislators and legislative staff; builds coalitions with state agencies, organizations, consumer groups, and other public bodies; tracks legislation that impacts architects and the practice of architecture; clarifies and informs members about legislative and policy activities; and protects the legal welfare of architects.

Today, the AIA/WA is Washington architect’s voice on state government affairs. Governed by mid-size Board of Directors (composed of architects from a variety of backgrounds, firm sizes, locations, and political views), the AIA/WA is part of a network that includes more than 2000 architects and related professionals in-state.

AIA|WA Mission

To serve its members through influencing state government with regard to issues that impact the practice of architecture.

The primary goal of the Council is to represent the common interests of all of Washington’s architects, to further public awareness of architects, and to promote the use of architectural services. The AIA|WA lobbies, maintains relations with the Governor’s Office, legislators and legislative staff, state agency organizations, consumer groups, and other public bodies; tracks legislation that impacts architects and the practice of architecture, clarifies and informs members about legislative and policy activities, and protects the legal welfare of architects.

AIA|WA Vision

AIA Washington Council will be an effective proponent of the balance between the natural built and economic environments.

The AIA|WA carries out its vision statement through commitment. We are dedicated to the creation of a community/practice balance through design, service and advocacy. We advocate with one clear, consistent voice to government and industry. Our members and allies also commit their time and resources to integrating all our programs to create a strong society. We further carry out our mission by generating sufficient resources to support and achieve this vision.

A Member Driven, Professional Society

The Council is a professional society comprised of registered architects in the State of Washington. The Council is governed by a sixteen-member Board of Directors: four Executive Officers (President, President-Elect, Secretary/Treasurer, immediate Past President) and twelve Directors (President and immediate Past President of each of the six Chapters in the State). The Executive Officers are elected for a one-year term beginning January first by the Delegates at the Annual Meeting, an extended governing body proportionately representative of the six Chapters. The Council staff consists of an Executive Director, an Operations Manager, and a Communications Coordinator.

Our Guiding Principles

  • Architects serve the public health, safety and welfare by designing places for a broad range of human activities, creating environments where individuals and groups may thrive.
  • The practice of architecture requires special skills and training; a lifelong commitment to learning, professional ethics and service; and a favorable business climate within which to practice.
  • The process of design achieves a positive balance of natural, social and economic forces, respecting the environment and shaping civilized places.
  • Architects express their professional concerns and commitments by engaging in public affairs with a range of professional and public allies, with the goal of helping to shape livable communities.