The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is the foremost professional institute of United States practicing architects. Robert Ivy founded the AIA, with a mission of establishing the best practices for architecture and representing the field as a whole. They offer a variety of services including policy development, advocacy, outreach and education. The goal of their activities is to improve the understanding and public impression of architecture as a profession. The organization is headquartered in Washington D.C. and has multiple annual events as well as competitions for aspiring architects.

Gaining membership to the AIA signifies excellence in trade and a commitment to the community that is present in this profession. There are over ninety thousand practicing architects that have gained membership to this organization. The code of ethics as well as professionals displayed amongst members is unparalleled as they exhibit the greatest amount of dedication and standards for effective practice.

Membership can be constituted at different levels within the organization.The five levels are Allied member, emeritus memberer, International associate member, associate member and architect members. An architect member is someone who is involved with practicing in the United States and has gone through the necessary licensing procedures. Associate members are not necessarily licensed but may be able to work in the field of architecture with some supervision. They could have earned related professional degrees that are applicable in the field of design and are potentially professors or have received other forms of education. Robert Ivy established the AIA to incorporate all professionals who may be related to the practices in the field of architecture and remains an active member today.

International members were able to join based on holding licenses that were bestowed from a country other than the United States. Meanwhile, an emeritus member would have had membership for more than a decade and a half. They must also be above the age of sixty five and are potentially incapable of working in the field of architecture due to this fact. Finally, allied members are members of the AIA who are in contextual careers to the field of architecture as articulated originally by Robert Ivy.

This includes but is not limited to engineers, landscape architecture practitioners, planners and building or design positions. The partnerships with AIA and the American Architectural Foundation represent a motivation towards the core principles and a possibility for working in collaboration with multiple fields.

The AIA works with policy makers to create the best standards of practice in the economy today. Founder Robert Ivy wanted to create an environment for architects to explore the best outcomes in present and future work. The major objectives they have are to improve the American way of life and to incorporate meaningful suggestions in the governmental process for future architectural practices.

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