The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has issued a letter to President Donald Trump opposing an executive draft order mandating uniform designs for federal architecture.
In the seven-page document titled “Make Federal Buildings Beautiful Again” obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times, Trump declares, “Architectural styles—with special regard for the classical architectural style—that value beauty, respect, regional architectural heritage, and command admiration by the public are the preferred styles for applicable federal public buildings.”
“In the National Capital Region and for all federal courthouses, the classical architectural style shall be the preferred and default style absent special extenuating factors necessitating another style,” the draft said.
In its letter, the AIA said, “The AIA, and its 95,000 members, works to advance our nation’s quality of life and protect the public’s health, safety, and welfare through design, as it has done for 160 years. We always work with the communities to assess the most appropriate architecture for projects within those communities. A one-size-fits-all mandate simply ignores needed input from impacted parties.”
“President Trump, this draft order is antithetical to giving the ‘people’ a voice and would set an extremely harmful precedent. It thumbs its nose at societal needs, even those of your own legacy as a builder and promoter of contemporary architecture. Our society should celebrate the differences that develop across space and time. AIA remains staunchly opposed to this proposed executive order. Please ensure that this order is not finalized or executed,” the letter added.