Some architects and members of the design community protested after the American Institute of Architects (AIA) issued a statement in support of President-elect Donald Trump following the election, reports Dan Howarth for Dezeen. The statement pledged support for Trump on behalf of its 89,000 members, saying:
"The AIA and its 89,000 members are committed to working with President-elect Trump to address the issues our country faces, particularly strengthening the nation's aging infrastructure. During the campaign, President-elect Trump called for committing at least $500 billion to infrastructure spending over five years. We stand ready to work with him and with the incoming 115th Congress to ensure that investments in schools, hospitals and other public infrastructure continue to be a major priority."
An unspecified number of those in the architect community fired back fiercely to the AIA's statement. Architect Fritz Read from the AIA Baltimore chapter has resigned from the organization in protest. Community members began using the hashtag, #NotMyAIA on social media in conjunction with the already widely-used #NotMyPresident hashtag referring to Donald Trump.
AIA executive vice president and CEO Robert Ivy and national president Russ Davidson released a joint video in which they admitted that their post-election memo was "tone deaf" and "resulted in hurt and anger by too many people", while issuing reassurances that the organization is committed to tackling issues surrounding diversity, equity, inclusion and climate change. The pair has also stated:
"We recognize that the current, post-election environment is unique and has aroused strong and heartfelt feelings within all communities, including that of AIA membership. In this context, our recent statement in support of design and construction's future role with the new administration has been viewed with concern by a number of our colleagues.
The AIA remains firmly committed to advocating for the values and principles that will create a more sustainable, inclusive and humane world. The spirit and intention behind our statement is consistent with and in support of President Obama's eloquent call for us all to unite for the best interest of America's future.
Watch the AIA's apology video here: