In response to Aaron Betsky's "Who Cares Who's a Licensed Architect?" story, American Institute of Architects president Jeff Potter explains why he and the AIA care:
As many respondents to this post rightfully assert, the licensing of architects is vitally important to ensure the quality of the built environment. The rigors of education and training that prepare someone to become an architect uniquely qualify them to anticipate and respond to the many needs and challenges facing humanity today. Architects are successfully addressing issues of sustainability and, increasingly, helping mitigate the public health crisis that diminishes the vitality of citizens in too many neighborhoods.
To be sure, dedicated teams of licensed and unlicensed individuals make positive contributions to the built environment. We recognize and value their work. However, the public only benefits from individuals who resolve and are willing to be fully accountable through a professional commitment reflected in licensure. The community of architects and design professionals would be better served by a focused discussion on how to encourage more to become architects and to pursue licensure. The need is so great.
Supporting and expanding the universe of licensed architects is essential to the mission of the AIA. The “protection” we pursue is inextricably linked to the health, safety, welfare, and well-being of the clients and communities architects serve. There is no higher calling.
Jeff Potter, FAIA
The American Institute of Architects