This is a problem which is only getting worse.
Architecture competitions need an overhaul - too many people are doing too much work for free, which is then judged on questionable criteria, and often not by architects.
The Acle Bridge competition, recently published here, had, according to the competition brief, no architect on the judging panel, and the shortlisted practices get £1k each to develop their schemes, and have to submit a full 3d CAD model as a part of their proposal... So Stage 3+ for £1k... shocking!
Looking to the RIBA for ethical direction is probably wishful thinking as one could argue that they started this ball rolling?
What we need is some form of code of conduct for competitions - but obviously the RIBA is not the place to look for such ethical direction...
Quality architecture is pretty thin on the ground in Wales, so I would have thought that listed buildings need all the support they can get... RIP Brynmawr Rubber Factory... etc
Yes - this is a real problem, and operates at a number of levels in the profession. The ever increasing risk aversion that dominates procurement is stifling talent.
The procurement process currently running for the refurbishment of the National Portrait Gallery asks applicants to provide examples of three national museum or gallery projects of over £20m in value, and an annual turnover of over £2m in order to be considered for the short list...
Good job they didn't stipulate that for the Pompidou Centre, or even the Walsall Art Gallery for that matter...
Great piece Ellis