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At least Baden-Hellard was qualified

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The RIBA's current disagreements with ARB augers ill for the future of our profession and reminds us once again that the RIBA got more than it bargained for when it gave its backing to the reform of ARCUK. What is sad about the Baden Hellard case in particular is that so much fuss should be made about an ageing member of the profession who let his registration lapse and who used the suffix when offering services as an arbitrator, while so many buildings continue to be designed by people who have no qualifications, little or no training, no insurance and no need of any title. Why protect the noun 'architect' rather than the verb 'to design buildings'?

I am reminded of the time I was on ARCUK and we had to consider a complaint against a man who was advertising his services as an 'archintect'. The registrar received legal advice to the effect that the registration acts only protected the title if spelt correctly: anyone could call themselves an architekt, an architecte or an architetto.

This ruling could offer us an escape route from our present predicament. Let's all call ourselves archintects: the ARB would become redundant and we could then start a new RIBA (Republican Institute of Blairite Archintects). A rose by any other name . . .


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