First-Ever Honorary FAIA From AIA International Region

The 2016 Honorary AIA Fellow announcement carried particular significance because it included the first-ever successful nomination from the AIA International Region. Additionally, the honoree also is a valued Page project partner. James M. Wright, Page Senior Principal and 2016-2017 President of the AIA International Region, nominated Hayder Ahmed Ali of Sudan for his work in the Public Welfare realm.

James knows Ali both as a professional colleague and the father of a former Page intern. Others in the AIA international community also know Hayder for his continuous efforts in support of the International Union of Architects (UIA). Beginning as a sole practitioner, he built a 54-person firm that advanced regional design quality, educates Sudanese architecture students and benefits the country’s social wellbeing through its work.

Hayder also was a Page project associate for the design and construction of the award-winning U.S. Embassy Compound in Khartoum on which James served as Design Principal. As James explained in the nomination, Hayder's design portfolio "reveals a strikingly modern architectural response to his homeland’s roots in numerous ancient civilizations along the upper Nile River."

Two factors further elevated James's nomination of the African architect: the application of Hayder's talent to commissions in support of his country’s social infrastructure, and his seamless integration of passive environmental measures in response to his country’s hot and arid climate. Hayder's work honors Sudan’s building arts legacy through interpretation that is both memorable and practical.

Hayder has designed dignified and appealing facilities benefitting orphaned and homeless children, citizenry displaced by political strife, and young people seeking higher education. He is acknowledged as the leading designer in Sudan, and secures the most significant national governmental commissions. 

In this era in which the AIA International Region is working to transition the American Institute of Architects from a national to a global professional organization, this award demonstrates the AIA’s growing awareness and influence worldwide. 

To see the list of 2016 Honorary AIA Fellows, click here