Professional organizations

Explore design-related professional organizations and their role in Design School disciplines.

Home / Resources / Resources for students / Professional Organizations

Professional Organizations

Professional organizations serve as the public face for their respective professions, providing information to the general public about disciplinary practice and its role in improving the well-being of communities, promoting design excellence through the recognition of notable professional achievements, supporting the exchange of ideas and information about best practices between professional members through the development of conferences and through the support of opportunities for continuing education.

Below you will find a list of professional associations relevant to The Design School's degree programs.



American Institute of Architects (AIA)

Nationally Based in Washington, D.C., the AIA has been the leading professional membership association for licensed architects, emerging professionals, and allied partners since 1857. Their overall mission is to promote the architectural profession through the strength and participation of members. AIA Arizona is the statewide component of the American Institute of Architects. ASU Architecture Alumni and Adjunct Faculty make up a substantial representation of the membership and leadership within AIA Arizona.

AIA Arizona Chapter

AIA Phoenix Metro is dedicated to promoting and sustaining architects in their quest for excellence in our unique urban desert. The Phoenix Metro Chapter is a professional association for architects in the metropolitan Phoenix area. Through seminars, committees and other Chapter programs, members exchange professional experiences and knowledge. ASU Architecture Alumni and Adjunct Faculty make up a substantial representation of the membership and leadership within the Chapter. 

Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA)

The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture is a non-profit, membership association founded in 1912 to advance the quality of architectural education. ACSA's Mission is "To advance architectural education through support of member schools, their faculty, and students. This support involves: serving by encouraging dialogue among the diverse areas of discipline; facilitating teaching, research, scholarly and creative works, through intra/interdisciplinary activity; articulating the critical issues forming the context of architectural education; and fostering public awareness of architectural education and issues of importance." Many ASU Architecture Faculty are active members and former leaders of the ACSA.

National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB)

The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) accredits professional degrees in architecture offered by institutions accredited by a U.S. regional accrediting agency. The curriculum of a NAAB-accredited program includes general studies, professional studies, and electives, which together comprise a liberal education in architecture. The curriculum ensures that graduates will be technically competent, critical thinkers who are capable of defining multiple career paths within a changing societal context.

More specifically, the NAAB requires an accredited program to produce graduates who: are competent in a range of intellectual, spatial, technical, and interpersonal skills; understand the historical, socio-cultural, and environmental context of architecture; are able to solve architectural design problems, including the integration of technical systems and health and safety requirements; and comprehend architects' roles and responsibilities in society.

The Master of Architecture Program at ASU is our NAAB Accredited Professional Degree Program. Arizona State University has proudly been home to a NAAB Accredited Professional Degree Program since 1961.

National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB)

NCARB members are the architectural registration boards of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and three U.S. territories (Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands). Each registration board has state-appointed public and professional members as well as an administrator. The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards protects the public health, safety, and welfare by leading the regulation of the practice of architecture through the development and application of standards for licensure and credentialing of architects.  

Melissa Cornelius is currently the Executive Director of the Arizona State Board of Technical Registration (AzBTR), the regulatory board for Architects in Arizona. 

Architecture students enrolled at ASU are eligible to begin IDP hours toward NCARB's Intern Development Program. An Architect can achieve licensure in Arizona upon completing IDP with NCARB and completing Architect Registration Examination (ARE) with the AzBTR.

American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS)

The American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) is an independent, non-profit, student-run organization dedicated to providing unmatched progressive programs, information, and resources on issues critical to architecture and the experience of education. The mission of the AIAS is to promote excellence in architectural education, training, and practice; to foster an appreciation of architecture and related disciplines; to enrich communities in a spirit of collaboration; and to organize students and combine their efforts to advance the art and science of architecture.

The ASU Chapter of the AIAS are a proactive group of Undergraduate and Graduate students who play a leadership role amongst their student peers. The ASU Chapter play an active role amongst the AIAS National and West Quad communities.


Industrial Design 

Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) 

Founded in 1965, the non-profit Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) is one of the oldest and largest membership organizations for industrial design professionals. The Industrial Design program and faculty at The Design School are actively engaged with IDSA's national administration as well as the Arizona chapter. The program also supports an IDSA student chapter with offices selected from the third and fourth years. This group meets regularly to conduct sketching workshops, field trips and other presentations. 


Interior Design 

American Society of Interior Designers (ASID)

American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) is a community of people, designers, industry representatives, educators, and students committed to advancing the interior design profession.

Council for Interior Design Qualification (CIDQ)

The Council for Interior Design Qualification, or CIDQ, is the global leader in establishing standards of competence for interior design/interior architecture professionals.

CIDQ protects public health, safety and welfare by identifying interior designers who have the knowledge and experience to create interior spaces that are not just aesthetically pleasing, but also functional and safe. 

An independent, nonprofit organization of state and provincial credentialing bodies, CIDQ has issued professional certificates to competent interior design professionals since 1974. Interior designers who meet the eligibility requirements for education and experience and pass the rigorous NCIDQ Exam are assigned a unique NCIDQ Certification number that attests to their qualifications for employers, state regulators and the general public. 

International Interior Design Association (IIDA)

The International Interior Design Association (IIDA) provides a forum to demonstrate design professionals’ impact on the health, safety, well-being and virtual soul of the public, balancing passion for good design and strategy for best business practices. IIDA stands at the intersection of passion and strategy where designers create extraordinary interiors and experiences.


Landscape Architecture 

American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) 

The ASLA vision is to lead the design and stewardship of land and communities. Landscape architects lead the stewardship, planning, and design of our built and natural environments. The Society's mission is to advance landscape architecture through advocacy, communication, education, and fellowship.    ASLA Local Chapter

Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA)

The Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture is composed of virtually all the programs of higher learning in landscape architecture in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. There also are individual and institutional members from many other parts of the world who belong to the CELA family.  All members of the faculties from these institutions are invited to participate in CELA as are others who possess an interest in the academic practice of landscape architecture.

The Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture can trace its beginnings to 1920 and for more than ninety years it has been concerned with the content and quality of professional education in landscape architecture.

Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Board (CLARB)

The Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards (CLARB) works to protect the public’s health, safety and welfare by establishing and promoting professional licensure standards. Members are the licensure boards across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF)

The mission of the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) is to support the preservation, improvement and enhancement of the environment. LAF invests in research and scholarships to increase our collective capacity to achieve sustainability.


Visual Communication Design 

American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) 

AIGA advances design as a professional craft, strategic advantage and vital cultural force. As the largest community of design advocates, we bring together practitioners, enthusiasts and patrons to amplify the voice of design and create the vision for a collective future. We define global standards and ethical practices, guide design education, inspire designers and the public, enhance professional development, and make powerful tools and resources accessible to all. 

AIGA Arizona 

The mission of AIGA Arizona is to bring programming to the design community which helps to improve design ability, connect complementary disciplines, encourage social impact and promote community excellence. 

International Council of Design (ico-D) 

While taking into account and celebrating institutional, cultural and social differences throughout the world, ico-D serves the worldwide community by: 

  • being an international non-partisan and non-governmental representative voice for design;
  • representing the interests of professional designers in a responsible manner;
  • defining and increasing awareness of professional standards and best practices governing design practice;
  • advocating for design as an effective way of advancing the best interests of humanity and the environment;
  • fostering recognition and respect of design by individuals and society at large (practitioners and clients included) as a valued and vital profession;
  • facilitating knowledge management and exchange;
  • facilitating cooperation amongst organizations of designers and allied institutions; and
  • supporting the development of design education (practice, theory and research).
  • The Council’s vision, mission and core values are manifested through initiatives that promote and represent design as a medium for progressive change.