In Brief

American Institute of Architects Memo in Support of Trump Sparks Backlash from Members

(via aia.org)
(via aia.org)

The American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) conciliatory note post-election, promising to work “with President-elect Trump to address the issues our country faces, particularly strengthening the nation’s aging infrastructure,” has caused a backlash from the AIA’s 89,000-strong membership, according to the Architect’s Newspaper.

The industry publication wrote “Our editorial board is currently gathering feedback from practitioners, luminaries, and academics in the field, and initial responses indicate that many architects strongly disagree with the tone, character, and appropriateness of [AIA Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer Robert] Ivy’s memorandum.”

The publication’s editorial board took specific aim at Trump’s more controversial proposals:

It is anathema to this editorial board to fathom the positive impact of such a work of infrastructure as the proposed border wall or its attendant detention centers, federal and private prisons, and militarized infrastructure that would be necessary in order to achieve the President-Elect’s stated deportation policy goals. To ignore the role design and designers could play in instituting and perpetuating the inequality inherent in the racist patriarchy Trump’s ideology embodies is irresponsible and reprehensible.

Many architect members are concerned AIA spoke on their behalf without consulting their membership. The Architect’s Newspaper has an extensive article, along with numerous member quotations, about the statement.

Ivy and AIA President Russ Davidson have responded, writing:

The AIA remains firmly committed to advocating for the values and principles that will create a more sustainable, inclusive and humane world.  The spirit and intention behind our statement is consistent with and in support of President Obama’s eloquent call for us all to unite for the best interest of America’s future.

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