On March 4th 1980, a group of self-employed local architects founded Associacao dos Arquitectos em Actividade Privada em Macau (Macau Association of Architects in Private Practice) – the predecessor of AAM. A larger group including both self-employed and Government-employed local architects, held an assembly in 1987 and voted unanimously to amend the constitution of the association and its reformation, allowing the admission of civil servants to become members. Subsequently, the name of the association was changed to Associacao dos Arquitectos de Macau (Macau Association of Architects) and its constitution was published in the Macau Government Gazette in January 1988 . As a result of this amendment, the number of members grew to 59.
Subservient to the establishment of the association and its purposes, in the past quarter of a century, AAM has succeeded in uniting its members, committing to raise the professional standards and the social recognition of architects in Macau. AAM plays a substantial role to the development of the city and has continually strived to promote Macau architecture to the world. Not only has AAM organized courses and seminars, engaged in researches and publications, they also maintain a close relationship with other professional associations of the building industry and Government departments, such as co-organizing activities of common interests for example. For external affairs, AAM organized its members to join cultural exchange programs, such as attending international conferences as well as hosting some important international professional events in Macau. Throughout this period, numerous architects have joined the association and today AAM has a total of around 180 members.
AAM is an international recognized association of professional architects and has maintained a close relationship with the Architectural Society of China (ASC). AAM has been invited to join ASC’s annual conferences and related academic activities since 1988, and also keeps a close relationship with some city level branches of ASC in Guangdong Province; including Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Zhuhai.
In 1989, AAM filed an application for admission to the International Union of Architects (UIA) and in May 1990 AAM officially became a full member at the 17th UIA General Assembly held in Montreal, Canada. Subsequently, besides the attendance of UIA general assemblies, the AAM also participated in its Work Programs; such as Educational and Cultural Spaces Work Program, Architectural Heritage Work Program, Science and High Tech Facilities Work Program. Furthermore in 1991, AAM filed an application for admission to the Architects Regional Council of ASIA (ARCASIA) and was subsequently invited to attend ARCASIA Council meeting in Agra as an observer; in 1992, during a meeting held in Beijing, China, AAM was admitted as member of ARCASIA. At about the same time, AAM teamed up with seven Portuguese speaking countries to form Conselho International dos Arquitectos de Lingua Portuguesa (International Council of Portuguese Speaking Architects – CIALP). It is evident that AAM has played an active role in promoting the relationship and cooperation between CIALP, UIA, ARCASIA and ASC.
Being an active member of the aforementioned international organizations, AAM has participated in many of their activities and hosted successfully several international conferences and events in Macau. Just to name a few, AAM has organized the 7th CIALP Congress in June 1999; the 12th CIALP Congress in December 2010; an architecture exhibition on “Modernism in the Portuguese Speaking Countries” in Tokyo and Macau in 2011; the 11the Asian Conference of Architects and the 25th ARCASIA Council Meeting in November 2014.
For UIA, AAM paid host to the Science and High Tech Facilities Work Program conference in 2004 and the 17th International Seminar of the Educational and Cultural Spaces Work Program in 2006. In June of 1999, AAM succeeded in organizing a delegation of 27 local architects to participate in the 20th UIA Congress held in Beijing, China, being the largest delegation to venture outside of Macau in the history of the AAM.
AAM continuously maintains a close relationship with the World Association of Chinese Architects (WACA) and has also co-organized a WACA annual conference in October 2011.