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Architects must change radically, new report warns

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A radical new report produced for the RIBA has called for a revolution in the profession.

The document - produced by former BDP boss Richard Saxon as part of the Building Futures programme - warns that the architecture profession needs to reform radically itself if it is to survive.

It predicts that the long-term future of small practices is unsustainable and says that RIBA members must react to outside influences that will render the one-man band an endangered species.

Architects must be prepared to change the way they work and who they work with if they are to retain any position of influence in the construction process, the report goes on.

The document says that architects must broaden the discipline and look at working more closely with other construction industry professions.

Two of the key recommendations are:

develop diversified businesses from architectural practices that reflect market opportunities and support new ways of working and new skills groups demanded by the modern built-environment industry; and

discourage professional norms and behaviours that are perceived as outdated - for example the introverted design perspective of architects and their lack of integration with other members of the construction team.

The report will be discussed tomorrow (15.12.05) at RIBA council.

by Ed Dorrell

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