An architect of all trades can be a master of one
I refer to Paul Hyett's journey of re-discovery, through work with an enlightened client, of what architects can and should do. (aj 2/9.12.99 - received in Nigeria on 17.1.00). Those of us outside the uk have been stupefied by the continuing argument about the role of the architect and the steady erosion of his status in the industry through the deviousness of peripheral consultants, not to mention political machinations which have merely added to the burden of overheads and fees, causing confusion in the minds of our clients. In my opinion this has been totally counterproductive and has turned construction into a battlefield from which only the lawyers have emerged triumphant.
The result is that few, if any, architects are happy with their present role or the legislation which controls it. The knowledge that they have only themselves to blame for allowing it to happen just makes matters worse.
The conclusion to Hyett's discovery is simple. The only professional trained to run a job from inception to completion is the architect and, for the industry to move forward for the benefit of society, he must restore his position to that of master builder.
Professor John Godwin,
University of Lagos, Nigeria