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John Kellett's comments

  • Last chance to fill out the survey: Should the title of architect be protected?

    John Kellett's comment 24 March, 2014 1:21 pm

    Not only should the title be protected, the function and role of architect should be protected to. Most of the rest of the developed World think it sensible to protect the public by such legislation, the Canadian system being of particular note.

    In fact, in the interests of public safety and protection from 'cowboys', the role of ALL construction professionals should be protected. For example there are no restrictions on who can call themselves a structural engineer, building services engineer, building surveyor or technologist. The only protection that the public has is 'Chartered' status but that is not backed by legislation as it should be.

  • UN warns of UK housing regression

    John Kellett's comment 12 September, 2013 1:14 pm

    The UN refers to Ms. Rolnik as an architect, but her name didn't feature in a quick search of Brazil's register of architects. That may be fault of the internet or the web browser I used but........

  • Government should stop waffling and put space standards in the Regs

    John Kellett's comment 31 August, 2013 12:44 pm

    Why doesn’t the AJ update and republish “Activities and Spaces”? It was written by John Noble, published in the magazine in 1982 and in book form a year later.

    I still find it useful, but after 30 years it is probably due for an update!

  • Assael: 'Fee cutting and poor management cannot be blamed on society'

    John Kellett's comment 27 April, 2013 8:12 am

    A sensible view. However solicitors and doctors have ‘protection of function’ in order to protect the public. The public has very little protection from fraudsters and charlatans misleading their clients into believing that they are architects.
    Unfortunately many people believe that it already is illegal for unqualified people to design buildings and therefore see no difference between an architect and an ‘architectural designer’. In my County ‘architectural designers’ are even being given commissions for schools and healthcare projects.

    With moves by the medical profession to increase the coverage of registration (into cosmetic procedures etc) and the call by the Archbishop of Canterbury for bankers to be required to be qualified, the construction professions should be lobbying for a requirement for building designers to be suitably qualified.

  • George Oldham found guilty of misconduct over ‘ethnics’ email

    John Kellett's comment 18 April, 2013 10:03 am

    Having just re-read Standard 12 of the ARB code of conduct I would very much like to understand from the ARB how using the phrase ‘the ethnics’ breaks that code. It would appear therefore that merely describing any aspect of a person’s appearance or character or background breaks the code implying that it is now impossible for anybody to be an architect in the UK.
    If a fellow architect describes me as ‘short’ (which I am) or who ‘looks down on me’ (they have to, due to my height), can I have them struck off the register? The implication from the PCC ruling is that I can! How odd.

  • School heads welcome call to scrap the Parts 1-3 system

    John Kellett's comment 18 April, 2013 9:47 am

    A break from providing an architectural education that meets internationally recognised standards, such as the European Directive, is very worrying.
    The profession requires new members who are fully versed in the long term ‘needs’ of the profession not the short term financial ‘wants’ of the Universities. Students wishing to become architects are not going to benefit from courses designed lower standards or increase University income.
    Courses for architects need to be both broad and deep in order to cover the knowledge and skills necessary, an undergraduate degree cannot do that. To leave University with just an ability to prepare impressive drawings is not enough, graduates wanting a career as architects need to know how buildings are constructed, how construction is managed, costs and have a good knowledge of all the guidance and legislation that applies as well as the art of architecture.
    Designers of buildings in the UK are already under qualified to meet the needs of the C21, I don’t see how shortening the education courses can improve things. Better access to part-time and online / distance courses would be a great improvement that would not lower standards and maintain adherence to internationally recognised standards.
    Perhaps educators would benefit from re-reading Vitruvius’s chapter on the education of an architect?

  • Is architecture gay-friendly?

    John Kellett's comment 15 April, 2013 12:36 pm

    The profession has much greater concerns at the moment than private personal sexual orientation issues. There is also rife, but mostly unintentional and unconscious, discrimination against the disabled, female, short, ginger-haired and state-educated throughout the profession.
    It is being marginalised by our un(der)qualified competitors who are profiteering on the break-up of an holistic profession into numerous specialisms. Specialisms that lack any overview of the project, as a whole, meeting the client’s requirements.
    What’s the point of being a diverse and egalitarian profession, if ‘society' thinks/decides it doesn’t want architects anymore?

  • Architecture students call for an end to unpaid internships

    John Kellett's comment 21 February, 2013 9:52 am

    The only reason practices can't pay is the desire to udercut their competitors by having more work carried out by unpaid students.
    My practice is under pressure from all directions to take on unpaid 'interns' under all sorts of 'official' apprenticeship type schemes. Should I bow to 'business' advice or stick to the moral high ground and hope my business can grow without 'cheating'?
    If students are doing useful fee-earning work the minimum pay legislation should apply, at the very least. An architecture graduate is after all worth a lot more than a 16 year old youth with no GCSEs or a 'media studies' graduate.
    But until the law is clarified and/or challenged loopholes will, unfortunately, be exploited by those without scruples.

  • Glass ceiling pay gap revealed: 26% of women directors earn less

    John Kellett's comment 6 February, 2013 1:40 pm

    Perhaps women are being cleverer by taking more 'dividend' and less 'salary' in order to take advantage of tax rules?
    Perhaps more women have got more sense than us chaps by getting out of a profession that currently has such little financial reward!
    I wonder how pay compares across the profession with other 'differences' such as height, accent, school, hair colour (ginger!), age and ethnicity etc?
    Speaking as someone who has been 'looked down on' most of his life I think you might be surprised by the results. Discrimination is not always intended. I read another study for another profession (I've forgotten which, it was a while ago) where the pay difference was due to women accepting lower offers. I'm not convinced by that argument but........

  • Comment: ‘Offices are crucial to the economy so don’t rush to convert to homes’

    John Kellett's comment 2 February, 2013 7:14 pm

    One aspect that appears to be missing from most commentaries on the issue of converting office buildings to homes is that many offices are in buildings designed for another purpose anyway. Houses, warehouses and agricultural buildings have all been converted to offices in the past. For those buildings, for which 'office' is now no longer a viable use, the Government 'initiative' is very good news.

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