Since 1995 IIAA has organized International Summer Schools of Applied Aesthetics. Nowadays the event is known as The International Summer Conference, and it is held every other year in Lahti.
Autumn Seminar (in Finnish) is organized every year, and the event brings together professionals from different branches of environmental research.
The Executive Board of IIAA was founded in 1993 by the University of Helsinki, the City of Lahti, the Finnish Society of Aesthetics, and the University Association for the Päijät-Häme region. The aim was to promote education, research, and publishing in applied environmental aesthetics, and to advance the development of an international institute that would further promote said fields of activity.
Research, education, and international cooperation have been central to the institute’s operation since its foundation. Responsible for the development of international cooperation in IIAA is the International Advisory Board (IAB). Educational events organized by the Institute are regularly attended by scholars of environmental and applied aesthetics from different countries and continents.
IIAA publishes three series of books. The publications include articles and monographs in both Finnish and English, and the Internet Magazine IO.
At the beginning of 2008, IIAA went through an organizational transformation. From 2008 to 2010, IIAA was administratively part of the Department of Aesthetics at the Institute for Art Research, University of Helsinki. At the same time, it became part of the Lahti University Consortium.
Between 2010 and 2014 IIAA was part of the University of Helsinki's Palmenia Centre for Continuing Education in its Lahti unit. The Institute joined the Department of Philosophy, History, Culture, and Art Studies of the University of Helsinki at the beginning of 2015.
IIAA’s operations remain in the city of Lahti, and it continues to organize educational events, International Summer Conferences, and Autumn Seminars as well as to produce publications of high quality.