Mette Aamodt, co-founder of Aamodt/Plumb and 2015 Groundbreakers winner, says AIA needs to ?make a huge pivot? An architect?s public call to resign from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) yesterday has renewed debate over how the profession should react to the incoming President, and spurred additional discussion over how the professional organization will work to support Donald Trump?s proposed infrastructure plans.
In a statement yesterday, Mette Aamodt, a partner in Aamodt/Plumb, an Austin- and Cambridge-based architecture firm (and past honoree of Curbed?s Groundbreakers award), announced the firm is not paying its AIA dues, which are up for renewal this week, and encourages others to do the same. The resignation comes in response to the letter written by the organization?s vice president, Robert Ivy, that said membership was ?committed to working with President-elect Trump,? and the AIA?s response to the backlash over that letter. Aamodt is calling on architects to join her in refusing to work for clients ?engaged in discrimination, human rights violations, tyranny and exploitation.?
Curbed spoke to Aamodt about her statement, and how individual and institutional bodies should react to the challenges posed by the Trump administration.
What are the unique responsibilities of architects, in terms of activity and activism, during a potentially unfriendly administration"
Mette Amodt: ?I think Trump affects us very directly; he has in the past in his role as a developer. There was an architect who came out during the campaign and did a video describing how Trump had refused to pay the fees they agreed on. There were numerous other examples of Trump not paying contractors and subcontractors. He?s got liens on several of his buildings, and those are usually placed when there are unpaid fees. He?s directly exploiting architects and people in the construction industry, which the AIA and Robert Ivy know full well. How is this even a reasonable clie...