Saturday, November 22, 2008

Have you considered joining AIA lately?

The Southwestern Oregon Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA-SWO) is offering a special invitation to any architect who is not currently a member of the Institute. If you sign up before the end of December 2008, you will receive your dinner for free and obtain a recorded Continuing Education Learning Unit (CEU) at every monthly AIA-SWO Chapter program you attend during the 2009 calendar year.(1)

The AIA offers many cost-effective ways to obtain learning units through a wide array of local, regional, and national events. As a member, you receive notices of meetings, conferences, and other events of interest to architects in our community. Our chapter meetings typically take place on the third Wednesday of each month, usually at the Actor's Cabaret in Eugene.(2) For regular members dinner is optional and served before the monthly program gets under way at 7:00. Our chapter meetings are a time to catch up with colleagues, make new friends, broaden your professional horizons, and earn a learning unit while you are at it.

AIA-SWO also organizes other events. Each year we sponsor the People’s Choice at the Eugene Celebration and a Register Guard insert on architecture. Last year, we celebrated 150 years of AIA. As part of the national celebration, our chapter was one of a few components recognized for our AIA150 project, which was our successful Blueprint for America/Franklin Corridor study in Eugene.

Our state component, AIA-Oregon, lobbies on behalf of architects at the state and national levels regarding issues and laws pertaining to the practice of architecture. Our dues directly support lobbying efforts in Salem and Washington D.C. AIA-Oregon’s current efforts include the development of legislation requiring new State buildings to be sustainable. This proposed legislation will likely be presented for consideration by the State legislature during 2009.

Other benefits of an AIA membership include:
  • Professional networking
  • Marketing opportunities
  • Use of AIA documents, the standard of the construction industry
  • Tax deduction for your membership dues
  • Conferences and literature to keep you informed
  • Socializing with colleagues that speak your language
  • Learning what's abuzz in the market by what others are busy with
  • Monthly eMail updates of news you can use
  • Advancing and raising awareness about the profession locally
  • Collaborative efforts toward civic and community leadership
  • Promoting architecture at the local, state, regional, and national levels
  • National recognition of those all-important letters after your name - ‘AIA’ indicating your membership and commitment to your profession

Please feel free to contact any AIA-SWO Board member regarding any questions. More information can be found on the AIA-National web site at You can find our AIA-Chapter at

(1) Dinner is not free for the annual joint meeting with the Willamette Valley Chapter of the Construction Specifications Institute, which occurs each January. Learning units are not offered for the annual AIA-SWO picnic (July) or holiday meeting (December).

(2) Unfortunately, The Actors Cabaret isn’t a particularly good location for our annual picnic. Armitage Park has served this purpose better for us.

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