An Architect by any other name

  • Building Design Expert
  • 5 years ago

Listen to an Architect speaker’s self conviction

Updated blog post – first published 22 March 2012

I attended and sat through an RIBA sponsored seminar during EcoBuild 2012. It could have been this year’s, last year’s or next year’s. Quite frankly the rhetoric was very familiar. In this particular speaker’s case anyway. This was an RIBA event, and he told us on numerous occasions that he was, is, an architect. It was one particular instance that underlined exactly his origins.

The talk was based upon the newly revised RIBA Outline Plan of Work. He touched upon a reference to Part E – Technical Design, replacing ‘Detail Design’ from the old Plan of Work, with which he had a semantics issue. Accordingly his view was that ‘Detail design’ would be carried out “…..by a contractor, or some other lower being.” Yes you read that correctly.  The obvious conclusion drawn was that clearly the ‘Architect’ is a higher life form that the rest of us should worship whenever the opportunity arises.

I was on a forum recently where the symposium asked the validity of architectural critique. Being an RIBA forum, as you might expect, there was a plethora of ‘Architects’, one of whom stated that when discussing architecture he would always check whether the other party was an architect. “Because it would indicate whether they held a valid opinion”.

As a mature adult I feel sure we should perhaps consider forgiving them, for they know not what they do!? unfortunate as that is. My problem is that I get the impression that even if these individuals could hear themselves back, they would ask ‘What was wrong with that?”

Whilst I am reasonably confident that this is an example of the minority shining brighter than the majority. It remains a tragic example of what has evolved as a totally unacceptable form of ‘elitism’ practiced by a few middle aged Architect’s.

I have known and worked with a good many architects in my career; most of whom wouldn’t even register on the ‘pomposity’ meter – I am pleased to report. These individuals give their profession a bad name and perpetuate what should be the myth of and Architect by any other name.

I recorded this seminar, and have extracted the offending piece as if proof were actually needed – Just click play to share the speakers self conviction.

RIBA Green Overlay