March 3, 2017

  • Sarah Wahlgren, 2016-2017 National President, Moderator
  • Sarah Killingsworth, Assoc. AIA, SBWV Architects, Inc.


“We know that bad design can make people sick…Buildings that are poorly built or poorly designed can definitely injure people both physically and psychologically. Knowing those things, why would we not treat good design as a right?” – Sarah Killingsworth


Architectural services and design thinking are a valuable educational investment.

In this special interview for Advocacy Month, we invited advocacy expert and past AIAS leader, Sarah Killingsworth to join in a conversation about design as advocacy through community service.

Sarah Killingsworth spoke to her experience with advocacy as an AIAS member and how she got involved in moving the National Design Services Act (NDSA) forward as a joint effort between the AIA and the AIAS.

Killingsworth highlighted the core values that this bill drives forward: relief of student loan debt, public awareness, and education through pro bono work in architecture, and increasing the intrinsic value of architectural education.


“Part of what we are proposing is a conversation about pro bono work in architecture. We are saying that our design services deserve to be shared. We think (as a profession) we have something we can give back to public interest design and pro bono work that can really help people and help increase the value of the architecture profession.” – Sarah Killingsworth


How can we be involved? What are the next steps?

  • NDSA Surveys: Help us gather and share information about current students and recent graduates
  • Pay attention! AIA press releases, AIAS advocacy news
  • When the bill is released to the House Financial Services Committee, write to your representatives. Target them.
    It’s a long process, but it starts with your local representatives!
    Once they pass it, then it goes to the House of Representatives, then the Senate.
  • Engage in your FBD Program, other service activities, and local design activism.
  • Join the AIA Advocacy Page and engage in the Advocacy network.


“You are right design education and any education is something that anyone can benefit from.” – Sarah Wahlgren


You can find out more information about the National Design Services Act here.
And look out for more “action items” in the near future from us!


“We are always trying to find more ways to communicate why our profession and why our skillset, mindset, are as valuable as we know them to be.” – Sarah Wahlgren