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Analysis: Grenfell tragedy highlights architects' marginalisation


The arguments put forward in this article are clearly motivated by a desire to reduce the risk of a tragedy like this reoccurring. It is unfortunate however that due to the emphasis on architects’ marginalisation, there is also a small undertone of opportunism. This disaster should not be used by architects any more than it should be capitalised upon by politicians. The marginalisation of architects has taken place over several decades, during which architects failed to respond proactively to major strategic change in the industry. This should not be regarded as an opportunity to turn back the clock. As the scope of architectural services evolved under design and build contracts, some of their control over design was relinquished into the hands of contractors, project managers and other specialists. However, while architects remained committed to honesty, integrity and competency principles set out in the RIBA’s code of professional conduct, other firms have not be bound by similar ethical obligations. This should be the emphasis of the argument. It seems to be a major oversight from the authors of new procurement legislation that compliance with such principles is not a requirement for all lead roles in the construction industry. Given our current industry landscape in which architects share design control within a more integrated team, perhaps it is time for the ethics of all lead firms to be more closely regulated.

Posted date

2 August, 2017

Posted time

5:29 am


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