Support Democracy in Design
AIA launches petition to support bipartisan legislation to prevent federal design mandates
Architects intuitively understand that community-centered design is fundamental to creating spaces that reflect the citizens they serve. Top-down requirements that mandate specific architectural styles don’t just undermine good design; they take away a community’s freedom to select the best design for their location and traditions.
That’s why AIA is proud to support the bipartisan “Democracy in Design Act of 2021” (H.R. 5291).
Cosponsored by Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV) and Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID), the bill would prohibit the federal government from mandating any national design style.
With a packed congressional calendar ahead, it’s important architects speak out and let policymakers know this commonsense legislation has nationwide support.
AIA’s online petition makes it easy for members to tell Congress where architects stand. By signing the petition, AIA members can let their representatives know that the “Democracy is Design Act” is important because:
- Officially maintaining a style-neutral position respects this country’s regional and cultural differences, as various communities may have different preferences, topographies, and design traditions.
- It encourages American architectural innovation.
- It supports a style-neutral approach that focuses on community-centered decision-making, demonstrated architectural skill, and public input for community-based federal building projects.
Once the petition reaches 5,000 signatures, AIA will share it with Congress as a testament to the support this legislation has within the architecture profession.
The legislation’s co-sponsors understand that this is an issue that goes beyond any one state or political viewpoint. As Rep. Dina Titus said, the bill “will ensure that design input for federal buildings flows from local communities and artists to the government, not the other way around.” Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID) agrees, stating, “What fits for Boise, Idaho doesn’t always work for Washington, DC, and vice versa… I don’t want any Administration—Republican or Democrat—to be able to mandate certain architectural styles. Let’s try to keep politics out of the design of our federal buildings.”