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Please don't mention www.styfhals-partners. be to the ARB or we'll have some Hallam Street jobsworth reporting the naughty Belgian practice, Styfhals & Partners, to someone in Brussels. Its offence? Describing members of the practice variously as 'assistant architect' and 'architect in training'. Ooo-er.

But hang on. The whole computer industry seems to have decided that 'software engineer' is not nearly as posh as 'software architect'.

There are now hundreds of computer-related affixes to the title, whose use the ARB so jealously guards when architecture graduates are involved. Microsoft even sponsors The Architecture Journal - that 'independent platform for free thinkers and practitioners of IT architecture'- and runs a Microsoft Certified Architect programme with a review board of 'previously certified architects'. Interesting how the word 'software' slipped off so easily.

Yet do we hear of the ARB writing to Microsoft UK about its hijacking of the profession's title? Odd that, isn't it? Try googling 'architect' with words like 'computer', 'software' or 'Microsoft'. You may conclude that bullyboy ARB has lost the battle it was too craven to even start.

sutherland. lyall@btinternet. com

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