The American Institute of Architects is a professional organization for architects in the United States. Its headquarters are located in Washington, D.C.

The world today is facing broad and complex challenges that threaten every aspect of our lives. The architect’s call to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public has a new and broader meaning amid challenges such as increasing climate extremes and social inequity. Architects everywhere must recognize that our profession can harness the power of design to contribute to solutions addressing the most significant needs of our time. Every project can be used as a platform for addressing big problems and providing creative solutions. Every line drawn should be a source of good in the world.

The Framework for Design Excellence represents the defining principles of good design in the 21st century. Comprised of 10 principles and accompanied by searching questions, the Framework seeks to inform progress toward a zero-carbon, equitable, resilient, and healthy built environment. These are to be thoughtfully considered by designer and client at the initiation of every project and incorporated into the work as appropriate to the project scope. The Framework is intended to be accessible and relevant for every architect, every client, and every project, regardless of size, typology, or aspiration.

The Framework for Design Excellence challenges architects with a vision of what the profession strives to achieve, the toolkit provides practical resources to help all architects achieve the vision.

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