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.
2015 Deadline & Entry Fee
The deadline for submissions has passed. Please check back in the Spring of 2015 for information on the 2016 program.
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.
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.
•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 HonorsAwards@aia.org 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.
Deadline is before 5:00 pm Eastern Time, October 17, 2014.
There is a non-refundable application fee of $350.00.
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 nomination may be made in one of two ways:
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.
• 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.
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.
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 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.
2.3 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.
Number of Photographs Allowed
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:
• on company letterhead (retired or Emeritus members may use personal
• electronically submitted as a .PDF file with the candidate's name in the subject line to HonorsAwards@aia.org by 5:00 pm Eastern on October 17, 2014.
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.
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)
Submission Site FAQs:
What if I want to make changes to my entry after I have completed my submission?
How will I know my submission has been received?
Examples of successful Fellowship submissions – includes 2015 Best Examples!
If, after looking through this, you have additional questions about your submission, please send an e-mail to Kdaileda@aia.org.
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