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The AIA Fellowship program was developed to elevate those architects who have made a significant contribution to architecture and society and who have achieved a standard of excellence in the profession. Election to Fellowship not only recognizes the achievements of the architect as an individual, but also honors before the public and the profession a model architect who has made a significant contribution to architecture and society on a national level.




Architect members who have been in good standing for at least 10 years may be nominated for Fellowship. Architect members may be advanced to Fellowship under guidelines set by the Board if they have contributed notably to the advancement of the profession of architecture.

The nominee must have completed 10 cumulative years as an AIA architect member prior to the nomination deadline (i.e., 10 years prior to October 17, 2014).

2015 Deadline & Entry Fee

The deadline for submissions has passed. Please check back in the Spring of 2015 for information on the 2016 program.

2015 Jury


John Castellana, FAIA (Chair)
TMP Architecture, Inc.
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

Steve Crane, FAIA
Salt Lake City

Brian Dougherty, FAIA
Dougherty + Dougherty Architects, LLP
Costa Mesa, California

Diane Georgopulos, FAIA
Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Mary Katherine (Mary Kay) Lanzillotta, FAIA
Hartman Cox Architects
Washington, DC

Kenneth Schwartz, FAIA
Tulane University
New Orleans

Donald T. Yoshino, FAIA
Yoshino Architecture, PA
Boca Raton, Florida

Submission Preview

Carefully review the 2015 Fellowship Submission Preview before submitting your payment. You can go back and edit your submission until the deadline once you have started but no refunds will be issued for submissions that are disqualified, late or incomplete.

Submission Criteria

Sponsor Responsibilities

The sponsor must be an AIA or FAIA member in good standing of the AIA. Elected or current AIA National officers and Board members, Executive Committee members of the College of Fellows, AIA national and component staff, and members of the Jury of Fellows (at the time of nomination or within three years of retiring from the jury) may not serve as sponsors or references. In addition, the Institute Secretary and/or Secretary-elect at the time of nomination and within three years of completion of their term of office may not serve as a sponsor.

A sponsor will be selected by the candidate. The sponsor is responsible for the following submission requirements.

The sponsor:

•Writes, in consultation with the candidate, the one-page summary of achievements

•Provides guidance to and assists with developing a succinct theme or focus throughout the submittal

•Assists the candidate in the preparation of his or her submission

•Ensures that exhibits support the category and emphasize results

•Is expected to contact the candidate's references and to make sure a one-page reference letter is written on company letterhead, signed, and electronically submitted to the AIA, at before 5:00 pm Eastern Time, October 17, 2014

•Writes a one page nomination letter for the candidate to be included as the first item in their single PDF file smaller than 10 MB. Submissions without a nomination letter will be disqualified.

Note to Sponsors: All candidates submitting in nonconsecutive years are considered first- year candidates at resubmission and are required to attain seven new references.

If a candidate is denied advancement at three consecutive annual meetings of the jury, one year must elapse before a new nomination can be made.

Deadline is before 5:00 pm Eastern Time, October 17, 2014.

There is a non-refundable application fee of $350.00.

General Format

Candidates nominated from the same firm in the same and consecutive years should ensure that their individual portfolios are unique and specific to each candidate.

It is important to note that failure to comply with the rules and instructions may result in the disqualification of the submission. This includes the completion of all biographical data as requested in this application.

The Jury of Fellows requires sponsors to base nominations solely on the candidate's single most outstanding category of achievement within an Object of the Institute.

The candidate must have completed 10 cumulative years as an AIA architect member prior to the nomination deadline (i.e., 10 years prior to October 17, 2014). If uncertainties exist about the period of membership, and after consulting with the local chapter, please contact Membership History to verify the candidate's eligibility before preparing the submission.

The nomination may be made in one of two ways:
1.By an AIA chapter or state organization bearing the signature of the president or secretary of the component.

2.By petition of individual members or Fellows, it must bear the signatures of any 10 AIA members or any 5 Fellows in good standing. It is the responsibility of the sponsor to inform the component of a petition nomination.

Jury recommendations for the 2015 Program:
• Do not use anything smaller than a 10 point font.

• Do not use a light type face.

• The narrative for each of your exhibits should address three things: 1) what was the challenge presented to you; 2) what was your role; and 3) what was the outcome

• Add page numbers.

• Submission should be no more than 40 pages including exhibits.

Section 1: Summary

The summary of achievements is limited to no more than one page. Note: The first 25-35 words must be a concise statement of the candidate's achievements, which may be used as the statement of achievement if elevated.

The sponsor, in consultation with the candidate, will write a summary of the candidate's achievements. The purpose of this summary is to synthesize on one page justification for the nomination. The summary should not be in the form of a biographical sketch or a recitation of general assignments or routine offices held. It should summarize, in brief narrative form, the candidate's accomplishments/results within the Object of the Institute in which the nomination is made. This should summarize the information provided in Sections 2.1 through 2.3.

Section 2: Accomplishments

Section 2 is divided into three parts and must focus on the achievements of the candidate cited in the category of nomination. It is important to include such information as leadership roles and quantifiable results, awards received (including jurors' names that could add further accreditation), related lectures and presentations, jury service, exhibitions of work, civic and community involvement, published work, and/or succinct details of results achieved from the candidate's involvement in listed activities. A more definitive list may be found in the Fellowship FAQ section. Please keep the descriptions precise and concise. This section must not be used for additional exhibits, although 1” x 1” margin images are permitted but only if they add clarity or support for the listed achievements. It is very important that material be succinct for clarity as it is reviewed by the jury.

2.1 Describe the significant work of the candidate in the areas relating to the category of nomination (include such information as projects undertaken, research completed, positions held, academic involvement, jury experience, presentations made, etc.). Always describe the achievements that relate directly to the category of nomination first.

For example:

For positions held, including voluntary ones, include the title and organization name, the duties involved, results achieved, and dates the candidate held the position.

For design or construction projects, include the location and the year of completion and candidate's specific role or achievement for the project.

2.2 Describe significant awards, honors, and recognition accorded to the candidate. Highlight the most significant awards relative to the category of nomination first. List awards from the Institute, other professional associations, government, civic associations, etc. For clarity, group similar awards together 'e.g., AIA awards (indicate whether they were national, regional, or local), government honors, education awards, etc. Include the years in which awards were received.

2.3 List the books or articles written by or about the candidate that support the category of nomination, if applicable. If the title of the book or article is not sufficient to add clarity to the jury review, candidates may add a brief description of the contents or importance of the written material.

Section 3: Exhibits

Exhibits must support the category of nomination and should state the problem presented, your particular role, and the resolution emphasizing results. Every submission must include photographic exhibits of the candidate's architectural work or that of the candidate's firm or others' work in whose creation and production the candidate has played a significant role. For candidates whose practice has not involved construction, there must be either photographs or literary exhibits. Work of the last 10 years has special significance and is encouraged.

Descriptive Data
- Each project must include identification of the architecture firm of record and a one-paragraph synopsis. The synopsis should be descriptive enough to indicate the scope of the project. This page should also list any awards or publications associated with the project. The declaration of responsibility must be completed as detailed on the descriptive data form, and must be signed by someone other than the candidate. The accuracy of the statement describing the candidate's relationship to the design is of major importance. (Sample Descriptive Data Sheet)

Note: For candidates who are nominated within the first Object for design, urban design, or preservation achievements, ONLY those projects for which the nominee is 'largely responsible for design' will be considered for submittal in this category.

Rules for Submitting Photographic Exhibits - All candidates should include quality photographs and/or exhibits of current work. Nominations in Object 1 must be supported by photographic exhibits. It is extremely helpful if the exhibits are oriented similarly. They must illustrate completed work, except in urban design as explained below, and may be in color or in black and white.

Number of Photographs Allowed

Exhibit Pages:

For all objects of nomination, 20 exhibit pages is the maximum allowed with a maximum of 15 photographs or photographic composition pages. Photographs and/or exhibits should be selected that best illustrate the candidate's work in the category of submission. For example, those submitting in Object 2 with a focus on firm management should show charts and exhibits that best illustrate the growth of the firm, innovations in firm organization, or the like. This will assist the jury in understanding the candidate's achievements. Candidates must show how their achievements have benefited the profession beyond their own firm or community involvement such as participation in committees, related organizations, presentations, etc.

Object 1: For design, urban design, or historic preservation achievements:

For all categories of design, no fewer than five completed projects for which the nominee is 'largely responsible for design'. Each project must contain a descriptive data sheet. One photograph per project should illustrate the project in the context of its surroundings. One plan may be substituted for one photograph only if the project is unusually complicated.

For urban design achievements, sketches and other evidence illustrating commissioned and adopted projects may be submitted if photographs are not possible. Exhibit 'before and after' photographs, if possible. For historic preservation achievements, at least one 'before' photograph of each project must be included with the photographs of the completed work.

Objects 2 through 5:

No fewer than 7 and no more than 10 exhibits (5 of which must be completed projects) must be submitted for Object 2.

For education achievements under Object 2, photographs exhibiting the work of the candidate's students as well as the candidate's own built work, if applicable, should be included, as well as any educational tools developed.

For Object 3 through 5, it is important to include quality photographs of one or two of the candidate's best projects in addition to other exhibits that best support the nomination category.

For Objects 4 and 5, photographs and/or exhibits that best illustrate the particular contribution of the candidate should be included. In the case of candidates who are government employees and who act as the client to other designers, the work of those designers may be included with clear attribution assigned and the role of the candidate clearly identified.

Section 4: Reference Letters

First year candidates are expected to obtain seven reference letters, three additional references are allowed and strongly encouraged for second- and third-year candidates. These letters must be:
• one-page

• on company letterhead (retired or Emeritus members may use personal

• signed

• electronically submitted as a .PDF file with the candidate's name in the subject line to by 5:00 pm Eastern on October 17, 2014.

Five of the references must be AIA members in good standing and identified with their appropriate designation of 'AIA, Assoc. AIA, FAIA, Hon. AIA, Hon. FAIA, or 'Int'l Assoc. AIA’. The references should be people who know the candidate well and are able to verify and testify to the accomplishments cited in the summary of achievements. For example, for design achievements include references from design colleagues and peers. For candidates nominated for education achievements, include references from deans, former students, etc. References should be explicit in their recommendation and contain specific reasons for support.

Do not contact the AIA to ascertain if reference letters have been received - the volume is too great to determine which letters have been received during the open submission time frame through the deadline.

Request that your reference writers forward their email confirmation receipt to you and/or your sponsor for tracking purposes.

Elected or current AIA national officers and Board members, College of Fellows Executive Committee members, and AIA national and component staff may not serve as references. In addition, the Institute Secretary and/or Secretary-elect and members of the Jury of Fellows at the time of nomination or within three years of retiring from office or the jury may not serve as references. The sponsor writes a one-page nomination letter on behalf of his or her candidate, this letter is not a reference letter and is not counted as one of the seven required reference letters for first year candidates.

Former AIA national officers and Board members are permitted to write reference letters but they should be instructed not to use their old Board stationery. Use of Board stationery is restricted to current service only.

Candidates choosing to resubmit in nonconsecutive years are considered first-year candidates, and seven new reference letters are required. For second- and third-year candidates, the reference letters will be kept on file if they resubmit in consecutive years.

With the exceptions stated in the foregoing, there are no restrictions on the selection of references. However, please note that it is in a candidate's best interest to demonstrate a broad range of support and influence (i.e. geographic distribution; limit references from a single source such as a firm or committee). Sponsors are responsible for soliciting reference letters and may use the sample letter supplied, however, please instruct reference writers to create an original letter specific to the candidate and not parrot back language already provided in the candidate's Summary page.

Please note that all reference letters are to remain confidential. It is the sponsor's responsibility to contact the reference writers and establish if they are willing to act as a reference and to emphasize the importance of submitting a letter in a timely fashion. The sponsor should follow up to see that reference letters are electronically submitted to the Institute, at before 5:00 PM Eastern, October 17, 2014.

Reference letters received after the 5:00 PM Eastern, October 18, 2013 deadline will not be reviewed by the jury.

All Fellowship candidates and their sponsors will be notified by e-mail of the jury’s decisions on or before Monday, February 2, 2015. The national AIA Board of Directors, College of Fellows Executive Committee, College of Fellows Regional Representatives, and component executives will be notified after the candidates and sponsors have been contacted.

FAIA Selection Resources for Components

A step-by-step "how to" page for verifying membership eligibility is available on the For Leaders page.

The page includes how to run the reports necessary for verifying the 10 years of membership requirement as well as gives you access to the historical membership reports that pre-date the current membership database. The archives reports are a series of excel spreadsheets of members who had an active membership as an AIA or Assoc. AIA member in any year from the mid-1980s to 2007. It includes some, but not all, of members who lapsed prior to 1987. The “FAIA eligibility” field has been removed on member’s records in Net Forum due to its inaccuracy. Please contact Cedric Rush if you have any questions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Fellowship FAQs:
Please click on the link below for answers to your specific questions regarding your FAIA submission

Fellowship Frequently Asked Questions

Submission Site FAQs:
Below are the answers to the questions we typically receive regarding our submission site.

Do I have to start and finish my submission in one session?

No. You can start your submission and come back to finish it before the deadline date of 5:00 pm Eastern Time.

What if I want to make changes to my entry after I have completed my submission?
You can enter the system at any time to edit or update your submission before the deadline date prior to 5:00 pm, Eastern Time.

How will I know my submission has been received?
Upon submitting your entry, you will receive a confirmation e-mail message containing your submission details.

What should I do if I did not receive a confirmation e-mail containing my submission details?

First, check your junk mail folder – the most likely problem is that your spam filter sent the e-mail from to your junk mail. You should change your account settings to accept future e-mail from us. If it did not go into your junk mail folder, please contact for assistance.

Helpful Tools

Examples of successful Fellowship submissions – includes 2015 Best Examples!

Demystifying Fellowship Power Point Presentation

AIA College of Fellows

FAIA Q&A Webinars

The Honors and Awards staff hosted a series of Q&A Webinars during the last two months. If you were unable to participate, there is no cause for concern. Almost everything discussed can be found in the Demystifying Fellowship Power Point presentation linked above.

If, after looking through this, you have additional questions about your submission, please send an e-mail to

Begin Your Submission

Begin your submission now!

Questions may be directed to

Past Recipients

2014 Recipients

2013 Recipients

2012 Recipients


Kathleen L. Daileda, Hon. AIA
Director, AIA Awards
1735 New York Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20006


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