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Registration is arbitrary and excludes diversity

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The report that ARB will enforce a two-tier system for architects favouring those from continental Europe underlines yet another of the arbitrary and valueless restrictions applying here to architects (AJ 3/10.8.00).

The restriction of the use of the title architect is of no value, when the perception is that a person designing a building is an architect irrespective of their background. Indeed, people are often cited in the press (including the architectural press) as architects when they are not registered. Protection of title without protection of role achieves nothing; it limits those actively involving themselves in the architectural debate, environmental quality and the promotion thereof. A freeing up of the architectural arena - to allow all those involved to align themselves with a positive agenda, to allow them to compete in a proper open market and to allow them not to run the risk of being taken to a 'quangoroo' court, whether registered or not - would be a breath of badly needed fresh air.

Perhaps the RIBA could then develop a wider membership of those practising in various fields, compete with other institutes in maintaining standards and providing worthwhile services, and develop a meaningful role for architecture and architectural education in society.

This surely would be cutting red tape and championing the rights of all of us as consumers.

Patrick Hogan (registered and chartered architect), Buckinghamshire

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