NCARB Unveils Traveling Centennial Exhibition at AIA Conference

Las Vegas, NV—The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) unveiled a Centennial exhibition detailing the history of architectural regulation in the United States at the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Conference on Architecture (A’19). Following the conference, the exhibit will be available for display at AIA chapters and other local architecture organizations.

NCARB celebrated the 100th anniversary of its founding on May 2, 2019. The historical exhibit was developed as part of the organization’s Centennial Celebration, exploring the importance of architectural licensure in the United States.

“NCARB and its member licensing boards have had a significant impact protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the public for over 100 years,” said NCARB President David L. Hoffman, FAIA, NCARB, Hon. FCARM. “The Centennial exhibit explores the challenges and opportunities the Council has faced and the resulting regulatory improvements, which have benefited the public as well as practitioners.”

The display was created in partnership with National Building Museum Senior Vice President and Curator Martin Moeller and Riggs Ward, a multi-disciplinary firm that specializes in designing interactive museum exhibits. It features an overview of the evolution of NCARB and licensure requirements in the United States, as well as a timeline of significant accomplishments in the organization’s history.

Some highlights from the exhibit include:

  • 1897: Illinois becomes the first state to regulate the profession of architecture.
  • 1919: 15 architects from 13 states discuss forming an organization to set standards for registration and facilitate licensure between states.
  • 1921: NCARB's first licensing exam is administered to 19 architects.
  • 1938: The first NCARB Certificate is issued to Illinois architect Nelson Spencer.
  • 1977: NCARB introduces the Intern-Architect Development Program (IDP), which would later become the Architectural Experience Program® (AXP®).
  • 1983: NCARB launches the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®).
  • 2015: The Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL) enables students to complete experience and examination requirements in school.
  • 2019: NCARB celebrates 100 years of facilitating licensure.

Following its debut at A’19, the exhibit will be displayed at NCARB’s upcoming Centennial Annual Business Meeting, held June 20-22, 2019, in Washington, DC. It will then travel to AIA chapters and other venues around the United States.

Learn more about NCARB’s Centennial Celebration and the evolution of architectural licensure. To request the Centennial exhibition, please contact Andy McIntyre at  


The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards’ membership is made up of the architectural licensing boards of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. NCARB, in collaboration with these boards, facilitates the licensure and credentialing of architects to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public.

To achieve these goals, NCARB works with its Member Boards and volunteers to develop and facilitate standards for licensure, including the national examination and experience program. NCARB also recommends regulatory guidelines for licensing boards and helps architects expand their professional reach through the NCARB Certificate.

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