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AIA Best Practices represent the collective wisdom of AIA members. They are a compendium of practical knowledge acquired by AIA members in the real world of architecture practice—knowledge gained from experience, immediately applicable to a task at hand.
How Can I Share My Knowledge?
An Architect's Office as Community Meeting Place (2007)
The office of Askew Nixon Ferguson Architects in Memphis has become a center of community activity as the site for a wide variety of civic, social, and business functions. These events have not only helped the community in many ways but also have had a positive impact on the firm.
ARE Success Teams (2007)
In 2005 the Boston Society of Architects/AIA launched a program to assist candidates with the Architect Registration Examination (ARE). Over the past 18 months, the component has helped 77 interns start the registration exam process.
Best ARE Study Strategies
Article appearing in nac-q.
Continuing Education at Francis Cauffman Architects (2007)
The Francis Cauffman firm has developed a well-rounded, multileveled continuing education program that meets both individual and company needs. Interns receive Intern Development Program (IDP) guidance, licensed architects can earn HSW credits, and all employees receive opportunities for professional training.
Crossing Firm Boundaries-Enhancing the IDP Experience (2007)
Lisa Burkholder, Assoc. AIA, and Tami Mullenix, AIA, describe the challenges they faced in earning IDP credits and the methods they employed to organize a study group. As a result of the study group, all members finished their IDP credits, and as of January 2007, most have completed their ARE divisions. Here the authors describe the group’s process and the benefits of group study.
Laddership: Integrating Leadership and Mentoring (2007)
Seattle interns find support in Laddership, an ad hoc small-group peer mentoring program started by Grace Kim, AIA. The program sustains value for its interns and architect-mentors through a shared responsibility of participant growth, encouragement, and learning.
Resources for the Architect Registration Examination (2007)
The Architect Registration Examination (ARE), the licensing exam for architects, culminates years of training, education, and internship. The depth and breadth of the material tested requires substantial preparation. Exam participants cite the childhood game of Hangman as a motivational simile, as passing each of the nine tests earns you one more letter, to eventually spell out A-R-C-H-I-T-E-C-T.
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Colorado Component and University Develop Partnership for Mentoring (2006)
AIA Colorado and the University of Colorado College of Architecture and Planning developed an undergraduate mentoring program for fourth-year architecture students. The success of the program warranted the creation of a new position in the college to administer the program. Future plans for the mentoring program include making the college a clearinghouse for statewide architecture mentoring activities.
Mentoring Interns: A Firm Commitment (2006)
Three employees of Payette Associates in Boston spearheaded the development of an in-house training program designed to meet the needs of the firm’s young designers. The firm and its designers have benefited from the program’s success. Payette Associates was the recipient of the 2002 IDP Outstanding Firm Award.
New York Program Goes "Beyond IDP" for Exceptional Mentoring (2006)
AIA New York and the Emerging New York Architects Committee realize the importance of mentorship. They have created a program that allows emerging professionals to meet in small groups with a mentor. The program allows mentees to choose whom they would like to learn from. The program offers kick-off and wrap-up events and encourages groups to meet at least four times in between.
Providing EPC Seminars in Your Firm (2006)
Firms can use the Emerging Professional’s Companion (EPC) to create professional development seminars. James B. Atkins, FAIA, discusses HKS Architects’ use of this online tool.
Types of Training Programs (2006)
Professional development is an important part of a firm’s employee retention program. A firm can offer several professional development options, including lunch seminars, tuition reimbursement programs, interactive computer-based training, and business education programs.
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Preparation for the Architect Registration Examination (2005)
AIA Miami has increased its associate membership and improved relations between local architecture schools through a new ARE preparatory program. The component developed a three-part preparatory program to facilitate emerging professionals maneuvering through the registration exam process.
Contributions to AIA Best Practices are welcome at any time and in any form, however, articles submitted in the following format are encouraged. Please e-mail your experience to firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions should also be directed to email@example.com.
Please limit your contribution to between 500 and 1000 words.
1. Title - Make this explanatory, so people scanning the list of Best Practices on the AIA Web site will clearly understand your topic (e.g., “Firm Supports Protégés through Inclusive Mentorship” or “Small Firms Collaborate to Provide Interns with Supplementary Education”).
2. Summary - This paragraph can be written in a variety of ways but should serve to highlight the outstanding aspects of your mentoring practice.
3. Statement - The body of your statement should describe in detail the steps used to carry out your efforts in mentoring: the organization, leadership, and evaluation. If you have used a significant means of funding or partnering, you should explain.
4. Conclusion - Wrap up by explaining how others might adapt your practice or program under similar (rather than identical) circumstances.