AIA Honorary Membership recognizes the notable contributions and service of people outside of the architecture profession.
Recognizing contributions & service to architecture
AIA recognizes the notable contributions and service of people outside of the architecture profession with Honorary Membership. Honorary members' contributions represent distinguished service to the profession and allied disciplines.
Questions? Email AIA Honors & Awards
Below is high-level information about the program criteria to help you determine if you are a good fit for Honorary Membership. For full criteria and guidelines, please refer to the submission guide in the Resources tab.
Honorary Membership is open single individuals who are otherwise ineligible for AIA Membership.
AIA & chapter staff
Current employees are eligible after ten cumulative years of employment at AIA and/or a chapter. (Note: The AIA Secretary may waive this requirement if a staff member is otherwise eligible. Contact Honors & Awards for more information.)
Members of the AIA Board of Directors, Strategic Council, chapters, or Knowledge Communities may submit nominations.
Nominators support the candidates as they prepare their submission and are required to write a letter of support for the candidate which summarizes their contributions and introduces the portfolio.
Nominators also assist the candidate by acting as a point of contact for the reference writers and providing guidance as needed.
Candidates are evaluated based on how their contributions represent distinguished service to the profession and allied disciplines.
The ripple effect
Candidates are asked to demonstrate the "ripple effect" they have had on the profession. This is shorthand for your impact beyond the day-to-day work of your practice or outside your community. The ripple effect could be demonstrated by speaking, publications, mentoring, service to the profession, geographic impact, or legacy through others.
Recognition for this program typically includes the following elements but may be subject to change. Recipients will receive additional information about this cycle’s recognition benefits with their selection notification.
- Promotional recognition in AIA communication channels.
- Invitation for the recipient or a recipient representative to attend selected Honors & Awards event celebrations, commonly held during the annual AIA Conference on Architecture & Design.
Schedule & fees
Dates are subject to change:
- Submissions close: September 12, 2023, by 5pm ET
- Notification to recipients: Early December 2023
- Public announcement: Early February 2024
Fee: There is no fee for this program.
Jackie Koo, AIA, Chair, Koo LLC; Chicago
Matthew Kiefer, Hon. AIA, Goulston & Storrs; Boston
Elizabeth Pacheco, AIA, Fallon+ Pacheco Architects; Bloomfield, N.J.
Contacting the jury
To protect the integrity of the awards process, active nominees are prohibited from contacting members of the Jury during the submission process. Communication with jurors, from the time of submittal to completion of the jury process, by the candidate or anyone acting on their behalf is cause for immediate disqualification.
Submission guide & forms
The 2024 Honorary Membership sample application PDF contains the program's criteria, guidelines, and a preview of the fields you will be asked to complete on the submission site.
The DQ checklist includes potential criteria that can result in disqualification. Use it to cross-check your materials before you hit the submit button.
Previous submission examples
Reviewing previous submissions can be helpful as you prepare your materials. To request a copy of a submission not listed here, you can email our archivist.