At almost 400 members, AIA Rochester makes a difference in our community
In 2019, the Rochester Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Rochester) celebrated 100 years as a professional organization. In 1919, a handful of local architects formed the Rochester Society of Architects. In 1962 the growing Society banded with regional colleagues to become the Central New York chapter of the AIA, and six years later the architects of Monroe County received a charter to form AIA Rochester, as it is known today. AIA Rochester has expanded to include Wayne, Livingston, Ontario, Yates, Seneca, and Alleghany counties.
Today AIA Rochester has nearly 400 professional architects, intern architects, and affiliates, which is one of the highest percentages of membership nationally. Its active young professional group, Emerging Rochester Architects (ERA), comprises over 20% of the membership. AIA Rochester’s mission is to promote the profession and practice of architecture in the Greater Rochester area. AIA Rochester is dedicated to providing its members opportunities for professional advancement, community involvement, and promoting design excellence in the built environment.
AIA Rochester members are dedicated citizens who add value to the Rochester community both through their built works and their volunteerism. In 2013, AIA Rochester designed and then partnered with ACEC to fund and construct a Habitat for Humanity home in Rochester. Two years later, the collaborative built a second Habitat house that was the first LEED Platinum home in our area. AIA Rochester members offer their expertise on local government boards, in community design charrettes, and provide educational opportunities to students via the Explorers Program in Architecture with the Seneca Waterways Council and the Girls in Architecture programs.
To celebrate its Centennial, AIA Rochester designed several dynamic activities to engage the public. Members participated in ImagineRIT with the RIT Master of Architecture students to showcase the profession and new technologies such as 3D printing. They hosted a Centennial Celebration of design in conjunction with their annual Design Awards Gala at the Port of Rochester, which highlights the best projects by local architects, including the Mayor’s Award recipient. AIA Rochester collaborated with IIDA NY Rochester City Center Chapter to present a show at Fashion Week of Rochester which featured costumes inspired by Rochester landmarks. The Installations at Midtown Commons explored the concept of shelter and showcased the creativity and visual application of critical thinking that is readily available from architects right here in Rochester. It is paramount to note that the majority of the leadership and participation in the Centennial endeavors has been by young professionals, which is indicative of a bright future for the development of our city.
In 2020, we continue to build upon the momentum and our engagement with our community developed via our Centennial Celebration. We will build upon previous events and engage in new endeavors. We look forward to working with all of our members to continue to grow the role of architects and architecture within Rochester.