American Institute of Architects, San Francisco Chapter

Journeyman International IDP Program

Journeyman International and AIA San Francisco are collaborating to create opportunities for emerging professionals (also referred to as interns) to earn hours in IDP core areas outside of the workplace. In the JI Emerging Professional Program (EPP), interns will work on real projects, with real clients in some of the poorest countries in the world. Among other tasks, interns will have the opportunity to transform schematics and initial renderings into construction documents on facilities ranging from schools to orphanages.


Journeyman International (JI) is a 501c3 non profit that provides architectural services to humanitarian organizations worldwide. JI’s innovative model was developed in 2009 by undergraduate architecture and construction management students and today still relies on these demographics to produce sustainable designs to communities that need them most.

AIA San Francisco strives to improve the quality of life in the Bay Area by promoting architecture and design. As of today, design competitions represent the only option available for AIA components to offer core hours in all IDP experience areas. The AIA San Francisco believes that we can do more to help our Emerging Professionals.


Hours: According to the IDP guidelines, interns can obtain 40 hours maximum per experience area (except Leadership and Service) totaling 640 hours through Community-Based Design Center/ Collaborative for volunteer service in support of a pre-approved charitable organization. Journeyman International has been pre-approved by NCARB and is thus eligible to award interns with hours in all 16 eligible experience areas.

Supervisors: An IDP supervisor is the individual who supervises the intern on a daily basis. JI has licensed architects on staff to supervise the intern during their enrollment in the EPP. The interns also have the option to reach out to their employer to act as supervisor for the duration of the project as well should the employer want to be involved. The IDP supervisor is required to certify that the information submitted in the experience report is true, correct and the work is performed competently. Because JI is a Community-Based Design Center/Collaborative, staff members who are professionals in other disciplines (ie: structural engineering, construction management, etc.) will be able to supervise hours in certain experience settings.


Scope of Work
Experience: Interns will work with the JI team to ensure that their experience in the EPP fulfills their specific needs in NCARB catagory S, and potentially catagories A and O (talk to the JI staff to discuss). Opportunities to obtain experiences in construction cost, engineering systems, project management, construction administration will also be available on a project by project basis.

Hours: Interns will be required to work a minimum of 8 hours per week dependent upon the scale and timeline of the project as described by the client. Interns will be placed on a project that matches well with their schedule and interest level.

Quality: JI provides sustainable design and construction methods that follow California building code to global communities. All staff, designers and interns are held to professional standards. The client’s design needs and timeline should be prioritized and upheld. All designs/construction documents will be thoroughly checked by our staff of professional architects, engineers and contractors regularly in order to ensure that projects are economically, environmentally and socially feasible.

Investment: All stakeholders in JI programs are required to pay a design fee. This is to make sure that projects are completed effectively and efficiently. All interns will be required to pay a $150 design fee covering the design handbook, project supervision and administrative costs.

Clients (typically humanitarian non profits like the Red Cross) are responsible for 100% of construction costs. They have agreed in a formal contract to work closely and efficiently with the design team, including these interns. Clients must have reliable communications sources, be financially stable and have local community partners that will aid with construction and programmatic needs.

Each JI project is vetted prior to being considered as a Journeyman International project. Each project must be financially and programmatically feasible. The client must have at least half of the funds needed for construction raised prior to design. The project must be located in a developing country and cater to an underserved population. Past projects have ranged in budget from $10,000 to $40 million with designs lasting anywhere from one to nine months. Depending on the clients needs, the construction documents completed by the intern should be completed between one and three months.

Work Already Accomplished Each Journeyman International project is typically first designed by an undergraduate architecture student at a U.S. university. These students work on design for nine months; starting with research (three months), then schematic design (three months) and into final design (three months). The student begins the project in September and travels to the site either in January or June.