For immediate release:
Washington, D.C. – March 19, 2013 – The American Institute of Architects (AIA) today issued the following response to incorrect statements made at today’s hearing before the House Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation on the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Completion Act, which was introduced Wednesday by Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah). Among other things, the legislation would mandate an alternative to architect Frank Gehry's design for the Eisenhower Memorial and would eliminate further federal funding for the project.
Please attribute the following statement to AIA Chief Executive Officer Robert Ivy, FAIA:
“The statement by Rep. Bishop that the AIA opposes political interference in the design process in order to protect large architectural firms shows a basic misunderstanding of our profession. More than 76 percent of AIA member firms make less than a million dollars a year. More than 97 percent of U.S. architecture firms have 50 or fewer employees. We are a professional association, in large part, comprised of small businesses.
“What’s more, many small firms perform public work for government agencies at all levels. They take part in public competitions and invest time and money to prepare proposals, all the while taking the risk that they might not win. If Congress exerts the right to change the rules and reject designs in the middle of the game, these small firms will not take part in the federal procurement process. Congress would effectively be legislating small architectural businesses out of federal contracts, limiting competition in the process.
“Our position on open competitions was mischaracterized by Justin Shubow, chairman of the National Civic Art Society. We support open architecture competitions as long as they are open to qualified, licensed architects.”
About The American Institute of Architects
For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. Members adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct to ensure the highest standards in professional practice. Embracing their responsibility to serve society, AIA members engage civic and government leaders and the public in helping find needed solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit www.aia.org.