News from AIA National
The AIA learned several months ago that there is a draft executive order being circulated by the Trump Administration for consideration by agency officials that would officially designate “classical” architecture as the preferred style of all U.S. federal courthouses. We have voiced our fervent opposition directly to the White House and officials in the relevant agencies. Additionally, all federal public buildings in the Capital region would be required to adhere to the same "classical" style (and all other federal public buildings whose costs exceed $50 million in modern dollars). The AIA strongly and unequivocally opposes this change in policy to promote any one style of architecture over another for federal buildings across the country.
The draft executive order defines “classical architectural style” to mean architectural features derived from classical Greek and Roman architecture. There are some allowances for “traditional architectural style” which is defined to mean classical architecture along with Gothic, Romanesque, and Spanish colonial. The draft executive order specifically prohibits the use of Brutalist architecture, or its derivatives, in any circumstance.
Except for Brutalism, there is some language in the draft executive order that would allow for other architectural styles to be used. However, the high bar required to satisfy the process described within the executive order would all but restrict the ability to design the federal buildings under this order in anything but the preferred style.
The AIA strongly condemns the move to enforce a top-down directive on architectural style. Design decisions should be left to the designer and the community, not bureaucrats in Washington, DC. All architectural styles have value and all communities have the right to weigh in on the government buildings meant to serve them.
Check out AIA Columbus member and section head of architecture at the Knowlton School of Architecture, Todd Gannon, AIA's article "On beauty, value, and justice in federal architecture in America".
Immediate Action Needed, Contact the White House Here!
News from AIA Ohio
A Letter from the President: AIA Ohio Legistlative Day
On Tuesday February 4, 2020, architects from around Ohio visited the Statehouse to meet with our state legislators. AIA Ohio organized “Statehouse Day” for members of AIA Ohio to discuss the issues affecting our profession from a legislative perspective. AIA Columbus was represented by a contingent of five members of our chapter and held meetings with three State Senators and one State Representative.
During our meetings with legislators, we discussed Senate Bill 136 (Payment Assurance Legislation) and House Bill 402 (Interior Design Licensing). We were able to explain to the law makers the role that Architects play in the improvement of our communities, and how these two bills affect that role. Regarding SB136, most were surprised to hear that Ohio is the only state in the country without some sort of codified legislation that protects the rights of Architects to get paid for their work. On HB402, we were able to help the representatives understand how the building permitting process works at a local level and what role we play as design professionals in ensuring the health, safety, and welfare of the public. Beyond discussion of the two pieces of pending legislation, we had talks revolving around sustainable design practices and the state of design education at Ohio schools of Architecture.
The meetings presented an opening to connect with our representatives that allowed for an understanding on both sides of how the bills that are proposed and passed impact the built environment. Every opportunity we get to connect with and help educate not only our law makers, but the general public, on what we do is a chance to demonstrate the value we bring to our communities through the built environment.
Mike Vala, AIA
AIA Columbus 2020 Chapter President
AIA National Advocacy Top Issues
Together, with our members, we advocate for architects, the profession and the built environment at the federal, state, and local levels.
AIA Supports Green New Deal Framework
AIA Supports the Invest in America Act