How to talk about architecture with clients and the public

Architects conversing - How to talk about architecture

An architect explains her design at the offices of Bonstra | Haresign Architects in Washington, DC.

While there is great respect for architects, there’s little understanding of what we do, or how our work affects others. Architectural practice constantly evolving. To move the profession forward, architects must work together to understand eachother and communicate our value.

It’s our job to help others understand what we do, and more importantly, why it’s important to them. We know that when we collaborate effectively, we can design and build better homes, communities and public spaces that benefit us all. That's why we're committed to creating a Blueprint for Better.

AIA offers a variety of resources dedicated to helping you explain your work and make an impact. These resources are crafted to support four bold statements:

  • Architects work with clients: We are collaborative, approachable partners throughout every design process.
  • Architects strengthen society: We demonstrate the critical role architecture and design has in our communities.
  • Architects design solutions: We offer solutions that showcase our passion, creativity, experience, and professional education.
  • Architects transform communities: We show how architecture improves the lives of individuals and the vibrancy of communities.

As an architect or design professional, you embody all of these attributes and more—we want to help you share your story and expertise with clients and the public.

Tell your story

AIA Message Book

Supported by a tremendous amount of research and developed with AIA members, the AIA Message Book will help you bridge the gap between architects and the public. Using proof points, statistics, and anecdotes grouped in topic areas that you can customize, this guide will help with your communications and messaging efforts.

Download the AIA Message Book >

Take the AIA Message Book training course on AIAU >

Climate Action Message Book Appendix

Learn how to communicate about the value of sustainable design.

Download the Climate Action Message Book Appendix >

Media strategies

Getting in front of media is one of the biggest ways you can draw attention to your firm and your work, but figuring out how to get them to notice you can be challenging. With expert insight and examples of architects’ winning media strategies, these articles will get you on your way.  

How to make the most of the ever-changing news landscape >

Playing the long game with reporters >

3 ways to proactively gain credit in the media >

Help potential clients understand your work

Are you having trouble explaining what you do to potential clients? is dedicated to helping people understand what it’s like to work with an architect and how to find one to hire. Easy-to-read, insightful articles also highlight the ways design impacts homes, workplaces, and communities. Browse the entire TopicA archive and share the articles that resonate with you.

Visit >

Encourage people to find and hire an architect

AIA Firm Directory

The AIA Firm Directory allows potential clients to connect with you. This searchable list of AIA members’ firms is accessible to the public online. They can search for firms by name, location, or keyword. You can also use it to contact fellow AIA members or find collaborators in new cities.

Explore the AIA Firm Directory >

Image credits

Architects conversing - How to talk about architecture

Carl Bower