February 17, 2020 by 2019-2020 Equity & Diversity Task Force, 2019-2020 Sustainability & Resiliency Task Force, 2020-2021 Council of Global Representatives, 2020-2021 Learning & Teaching Culture Advisory Group, 2021-2022 Professional Development Advisory Group

Welcome to Spring Membership Month, AIAS! This year’s theme is Amplify. During #AIASmem20, the national office will be focusing on how WE can AMPLIFY OUR:_______. This semester’s theme is focusing on OUR membership benefits at the national level. Week three is all about Service! 

“Okay Adam. I think I know about this one. You’re gonna talk about Freedom By Design, Right?” 

Spot on! If you didn’t already know, Freedom by Design is the AIAS community service program that encourages architecture students to radically impact the lives of people in their community. The program embraces efforts to provide both design-build and engagement solutions. FBD provides real-world experience (some of which qualifies for AXP Hours) through working with clients, learning from local licensed architects and contractors, and experiencing the practical impacts of architecture and design. 

“Design-Build seems pretty straight forward, but could you tell me more about engagement?” 

For sure! Design-Build is, in fact, how FBD was envisioned over 15 years ago. Keep in mind that for design-build projects, it is still mandatory that there is a design mentor and construction mentor on your team. The design mentor must be a licensed architect in the state the build is taking place, and the construction mentor must be a licensed contractor in the state the build is taking place. 

Engagement projects are opportunities for AIAS chapters to interact with their communities in a way that does not require a physically built project, in an effort to ensure that all AIAS chapters who are interested in having an FBD program are not restricted by the requirements of a physical build. Engagement projects can range from presentations at local high schools to mentorship endeavors to anything in between. A good rule of thumb: If you aren’t building anything physical, it’s an engagement project. Engagement projects are a great way for chapters to BUILD relationships with potential future clients in the surrounding community! Think of it as a networking opportunity! 

“Wow! Over fifteen years of FBD?”

It’s amazing how successful this program is. And it’s all thanks to the amazing AIAS members that seek out moments to better their community! It’s so amazing that we even put together special programming at Grassroots and FORUM. You can read more about the Freedom By Design Live Task Force here. Oh and you should follow @aias_fbd_national and @aiasorg to see the incredible work that our chapters are doing!

“This program is amazing! I’d love to get an FBD up and running at my chapter. Any advice?

First things first: You need to identify a few key roles for your FBD leadership team. For example, an FBD Director and project manager are good places to start. The Director acts as the primary leader of the FBD Program and should sit on your chapter’s executive board. Once you get a team together, chapters can declare a FBD project at any point in the year. After finding a client and defining a project, declaring allows the AIAS National Office to feature your project nationally and provide support. After declaring, chapters also have the option to apply for grant funding which will be allocated three times a year: October 15th, February 15th, April 15th. These grants are provided by NCARB and are allocated based on the quality of grant application, grant availability, and attendance at Grassroots. To get the full run down, read all about it here.

Are you ready to Amplify Our: Voice, Ideas, and Actions? Then join the AIAS today and begin serving your community!