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V&A ‘architects’ mislabelled

The Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A) has had to change the name of its Architects-in-Residence position because neither of the newly appointed in-house designers is actually a qualified architect

Following a competition run by the V&A and the RIBA for a six-month placement within the museum’s arts education unit, the Sackler Centre, the museum selected David Chambers and Kevin Haley to take up the high-profile role.

However, both Chambers and Haley [working under the aberrant architecture banner] are only Part-II qualified and have incurred the wrath of the ARB, causing the West London institution to alter its title to Architecture Residency.

A spokesman for the board said: ‘The description on the V&A website was initially brought to our attention a couple of weeks ago. On receipt of the complaint I wrote to the V&A to request that they amend the reference Architects-in-Residence and this description has now been corrected.

‘However, there are still some outstanding issues, as it would appear that the practice has directly utilised the title on its blog and individual CVs, which are still accessible on the V&A site. I will therefore be making further enquires with both the V&A and the practice directly in this respect.’

The appointment also riled one anonymous architect who wrote to the AJ saying: ‘At a time when there must be dozens of talented architects looking for work in London, the V&A and RIBA appear to have given this incredibly high-profile role to a couple of students who haven’t taken their Part III exams yet.’

Chambers said: ‘We see ourselves as a design studio and think tank with a particular interest in the realms of architecture and interiors, and are happy with the new title.’

A V&A spokesman added: ‘The wording on the V&A website which is being corrected used the word ‘architect’ to incorrectly describe aberrant architecture.

‘It will read - The V&A+RIBA Architecture Partnership is delighted to announce that aberrant architecture has taken up the new Architecture Residency at the Museum.’

Original text taken from the V&A’s website

4 January - 30 june 2010

The V&A is delighted to announce aberrant architecture as Architects in Residence at the Museum. aberrant architecture is a design studio and think tank founded in Tokyo in 2007 by David Chambers and Kevin Haley, with a mandate to explore a world full of complication and contradiction.

Readers' comments (1)

  • I think it's a shame that this article decided to focus on the issue of Part II architects not being able to call themselves architects.

    When you complete your Part II and have years of experience in practices and lecturing, you are far from being a student. To insinuate as much is the real insult.

    Is this guy that desperate for a story?!

    Unsuitable or offensive?

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