The AIA is taking up the cause originally initiated by San Francisco-based Public Architecture that challenges architects to commit at least 1 percent of their time to pro bono services. The AIA and Public Architecture have formed a partnership that will focus specifically on AIA members and, later this year, members’ contributions will be tracked through a dedicated portal on The 1% website. In addition to encouraging architects to make pro bono work part of their business plan, the program will connect nonprofits in need of design services to participating firms.
John Peterson, AIA, who founded Public Architecture, says in the release that this formal arrangement with the AIA is the first time the profession has “institutionalized pro bono service as a fundamental concept of practice.” He adds that the “partnership is a historic leap forward toward a more comprehensive commitment to creating better environments in all communities.” The AIA/Public Architecture collaboration officially launches at the AIA National Convention in May, but members can participate in The 1% program now. The AIA already offers resources and leads for members to get involved in pro bono and community work through a collection of tools detailed on the Practicing Architecture section of its website.