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Architectural Ellipsis

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  • Follow Up: NCARB Punted the Intern Title Debate

    Everyday Intern
    Mar 29, '17 2:29 PM EST

    In May of 2015 NCARB announced that it had tackled the great 'intern' title debate. I wasn't impressed at the time. In the press release NCARB noted that they were planning a series of initiatives, which would include proposing changes to NCARB Model Law and guidelines.

    NCARB vowed to "sunset the usage of the term 'intern' as a way to describe those who are working to become architects." Then President-Elect Dennis Ward commented in the full statement issued with the May 2015 press release, "Should any proposals to change Model Law surface during my presidency, they would be presented for comment next spring and for a vote of the Membership at the June 2016 Annual Business Meeting in Seattle." The NCARB Board of Directors appointed NCARB CEO Michael Armstrong to lead the effort to develop a "sunset plan" but what has happened in the nearly two years since this announcement.

    To be fair, NCARB has removed 'intern' from many of its publications and program titles. I've noted that it looked like they were replacing it with the term 'aspiring architect' but even that doesn't seem to be universal as the term 'licensure candidate' or just 'candidate' is used throughout their current publications as well.

    In June 2016, NCARB held its annual meeting in Seattle and the member boards voted on any proposed resolutions. Five of these resolutions attempted to make changes to the Model Law; of which, one focused on the Intern Development Program name, and the other focused on titles.

    Resolution 2016-08 focused on updating the name of the Intern Development Program. NCARB's Board of Directors had already approved the new name of Architectural Experience Program (AXP), all this resolution did was codify it into the Model Law. It was pretty straightforward and simply replaced 'IDP' with 'AXP' and 'Intern Development' with 'Architectural Experience' throughout the document. This resolution passed with a vote of 52 in favor and 2 against.

    Resolution 2016-06 focused on titles in the Model Law, but true to NCARB form, they focused on something completely unnecessary and not at all in line with their promise to propose changes to the Model Law that could lead to licensing boards "[removing] 'intern' from existing rules and regulations." Instead of focusing on removing the titles 'intern architect' and 'architectural intern' from the Model Law, this resolution focused on adding the title 'architect emeritus.' This resolution passed with a vote of 53 in favor and 1 against.

    I previously wrote about the title of 'architect emeritus' in my post about the initial 2015 press release, but it bears repeating that focusing on this title is incongruous with NCARB's mission to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public:

    "NCARB focuses enough effort to confirm that 'architect emeritus' is appropriate for someone after they are done practicing architecture. They say this provides 'appropriate notice to the public,' but what notice does the public need for someone who isn’t practicing? Is there any threat to the health, safety and welfare of the public if grandma or grandpa says they used to practice architecture without actually having been registered? No, the regulation of this title isn’t about protecting the health, safety and welfare if the individual isn’t practicing. These are honorary titles that are granted by some jurisdictions that now apparently NCARB and the task force is helping to define."

    I wondered back then if the emeritus title would make it into the Model Law and sure enough, NCARB decided it was important enough to bring forth a resolution codifying it. However, it is apparently still not important for NCARB to remove from the Model Law the references to 'intern architect' and 'architectural intern.' I shouldn't have expected anything less given the focus and recommendations of the Future Title Task Force.

    This is the point where I'd make an impassioned plea for NCARB to put forth a resolution at the 2017 Annual Business Meeting removing 'intern architect' and 'architectural intern' from the Model Law, but all that would do is leave a gaping hole where the Model Law provides titles for "a person currently employed under the responsible control of an architect, and who maintains in good standing a [NCARB] Record." Really this just reinforces the notion that NCARB created this problem with the intern title and they have done nothing to solve it by simply stating that aspiring architects can call themselves whatever you want, "just don't use 'intern.'"

    Ignoring the problem is not going to make it go away. NCARB created the titles 'intern architect' and 'architectural intern' and then codified them into the Model Law. NCARB should do what is necessary to clean it up. 

    I wrote in the comments of the post about the press release in 2015 that I was undecided about allowing graduates of an architectural degree program to be allowed to use the title 'architect' and distinguishing those licensed architects by the title 'registered architect.' I'm not quite as undecided anymore. I discovered that in the early 2000's a Collateral Internship Task Force (CITF) compiled a series of recommendations and presented the Five Presidents' Council with a report. The Five Presidents' Council "is comprised of the presidents, presidents-elect, vice presidents-elect, and chief staff executives for each of the five architectural collateral organizations[; NCARB, AIA, AIAS, ACSA, and NAAB]."

    Some of the recommendations of the CITF were initially rejected by NCARB. The Board of Directors, in 2001, voted 11-1 to reject allowing graduates to take the ARE after graduation, and voted unanimously to reject allowing graduates to use the title 'architect.' However, later that year the Texas Board of Architects and Engineers allowed graduates to take the ARE if they had completed a professional degree program and had at least 6 months experience under the direct supervision of an architect.

    NCARB, in the 2016 NCARB By The Numbers Report, notes that 50 out of 54 jurisdictions allow licensure candidates to take the ARE before finishing IDP requirements (now AXP requirements). They also note that pass rates for the ARE are higher for candidates that are testing concurrently while finishing up IDP (now AXP) requirements. 

    Additionally, another recommendation from the CITF report noted that national and international reciprocity should be strengthened. NCARB announced in January 2017 that a Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) had been reached with Australia and New Zealand that is similar to agreements in place with Canada and Mexico allowing architects to pursue work and reciprocity.

    Other recommendations from the CITF report concerning integrating practice and education have caught on and many schools and firms offer opportunities to students to become more familiar with practice. Likewise, more firms are integrating education and supporting the continuing education of aspiring architects in practice.

    With many of these recommendations becoming more common in the profession, it seems like it may be time to reconsider the recommendation about allowing graduates from a professional degree program to use the title 'architect.' Of course, that recommendation was predicated on the implementation of the report's other concepts and recommendations, so there might be more work to be done before this could become a reality. 

    With the AIA now supporting different titles for licensure candidates, and NCARB simply trying to ignore the issue, perhaps some leadership and collaboration among the five collateral organizations "responsible for the education, training, registration, and practice of architects" could result in further, coordinated action ... if not at least an agreement on what undignified title licensure candidates should be called. 

    (image source)

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  • NCARB punts, AIA returns with undignified titles

    Everyday Intern
    Mar 28, '17 7:12 PM EST

    Ive blogged in the past about NCARBs decision to punt the intern title debate and it looks like the AIA, of all organizations, decided to pick up the ball and run with it. A recent post on AIAs website outlined the position of the AIA with regard to the use of the title intern. AIA now... View full entry



  • My Valentines

    Everyday Intern
    Feb 14, '17 11:43 AM EST

    Im a hopeless romantic at heart. I blame the sugar-, and adrenaline-filled rush of distributing valentines out to my entire class, while carefully crafting the perfect one for the girl I admired at the time. Dreaming hopelessly about what might become if only shed notice the extra attention Id... View full entry



  • ARE 5.0 Cut Scores

    Everyday Intern
    Jan 19, '17 7:14 PM EST

    Earlier this week NCARB posted an update on the ARE 5.0 Community page dedicated to updating candidates on the number of administrations currently taken and scheduled for each ARE 5.0 division. The magic number we are looking for is 600 administrations, which is how many administrations NCARB... View full entry



  • Can we talk?

    Everyday Intern
    Nov 17, '16 7:03 PM EST

    Id like to talk to you about unpaid internships. I thought this was pretty much self-evident, but it keeps coming up and Im realizing now that maybe I had given you too much credit to piece this together on your own; so let me lay it out for you. Dont work for free.Is that clear enough? It... View full entry



  • ARE 5.0 and Forums

    Everyday Intern
    Oct 27, '16 1:07 PM EST

    ARE 5.0 is going live next week and in anticipation of transitioning to take my last two divisions of the ARE, Ive been looking at some of the options out there for information. One of my first stops was ARE Coachs forum, where I went primarily for information regarding ARE 4.0 vignettes... View full entry



  • Your Job Posting is Confusing

    Everyday Intern
    Oct 19, '16 12:24 PM EST

    Occasionally I peruse the recent job postings here on Archinect just to get an idea of the types jobs out there and what they are looking for. Many times I find these postings confusing and/or contradictory. Now Ive posted about some of these job postings before in the forums (you can sift... View full entry



  • "Intern" replacement coming from NCARB?

    Everyday Intern
    Jul 7, '15 3:52 PM EST

    NCARB recently published the 2015 NCARB by the Numbers report. This is the first since announcing the sunsetting of the term intern, and it looks like NCARB is keeping its promise to not use it. Remarkably, the only occurences of the word intern are when it is used in the name of the... View full entry



  • NCARB Punted the Intern Title Debate

    Everyday Intern
    Jun 26, '15 5:58 PM EST

    Preface: The news is out and already old. This post has gone through plenty of iterations. Ive tried writing a response to the news that NCARB is sunsetting the term intern various ways and none of them seem to really sit well with me. Ive tried to discount their stance. Ive tried getting angry... View full entry



  • Ceci n'est pas une pipe

    Everyday Intern
    Feb 7, '15 3:25 PM EST

    I hope this wallpaper doesnt catch on. Im all in favor of the artwork, but just dont bring it into a building as wallpaper. Leave it as part of the museums collection.SourceI would much rather see this instead. But I also dont hope this catches on as well.Source View full entry



  • Entry Level ... with Experience

    Everyday Intern
    Jul 12, '13 12:05 PM EST

    Ive been looking at job opportunities lately. I dont know if anything will come of it, but either way, Ive been looking around. I seem to be noticing more and more postings that are advertising for entry-level positions, but have a list of requirements that makes me wonder if employers and... View full entry

    You keep using that word ...


    Jefe, what is a plethora?




  • Keep Calm and ...

    Everyday Intern
    Jul 6, '13 12:04 PM EST

    For the last few weeks Ive had my head buried in work. While it seemed to continue to pile up, I finally created a little room to breathe the last couple of days. Ive been able to get a bit ahead, finish up some tasks and I have to say, it feels quite good. It has also allowed me a bit of time... View full entry



  • Well Hello Graduate! Welcome to the Rest of Your Life

    Everyday Intern
    May 28, '13 3:48 PM EST

    Its that time of year when a new crop of recent graduates is out looking for work, realizing that this summer marks the beginning of their new lives. Landing that first job can feel great, but getting there is only part of the story. My post today, in addition to the warm welcome, is an attempt... View full entry



  • Architecture ... In Your Ears

    Everyday Intern
    Apr 11, '13 12:06 AM EST

    As an intern I tend to spend quite a bit of time in my cubicle plugging away in CAD. In school, I listened to music to help pass the time and monotony of working on a project, but in the office I find my pandora station either starts to repeat the same stuff constantly, or I spend too much time... View full entry



  • On Internships and Mowing the Lawn

    Everyday Intern
    Mar 21, '13 12:40 PM EST

    Spring is finally here in the US and that means that students everywhere are working on their portfolios and getting ready to apply for summer internships. Even everyones favorite blogger-tect and twitter-tect is sensing the longer days of sunshine and dusting off old posts to help the potential... View full entry



  • Want to be an Architect?; Don't Learn Revit

    Everyday Intern
    Feb 5, '13 1:14 AM EST

    Before you skip the rest of my post and start flinging words around in the comments, hear me out. I think Revit is a valuable tool and that soon (if not already) it and other BIM programs will become just part of the game and youll have to learn it. Its either that or you can become an... View full entry



  • A.R.E. Strategies

    Everyday Intern
    Dec 17, '12 12:58 AM EST

    Youll never hear me claim I know everything. A lot of my intentions for starting this blog include getting the advice and opinions of others out there (see the last paragraph here).  With that in mind I wanted to reach out to the archinect community for some wisdom.  Im looking at... View full entry



  • Parasitic Interns

    Everyday Intern
    Dec 6, '12 10:45 AM EST

    I came across this over on Houzz (hatezz that name by the way). While I hope the series is tongue in cheek, the distribution of the intern struck me as odd: The Intern is a parasitic species, typically found clustered around Architects or Interior Designers, dutifully cleaning up the designs.... View full entry



  • Let's talk about ...

    Everyday Intern
    Nov 18, '12 1:38 PM EST

    As you might have gathered from the description in the sidebar, this blog is about the parts of the profession that we tend to gloss over, omit, or just don’t talk about; what I call an architectural ellipsis. Perhaps a few quick examples may be helpful in understanding what I mean. An... View full entry



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About this Blog

An ellipsis [...] is used to signal an omission, an unfinished thought, aposiopesis, or brief awkward silence. Architectural ellipses are those aspects of the profession we (perhaps intentionally) omit, gloss over, or let dwindle in silence. Generally applied this blog should encompass many aspects of the profession. Yet, as an intern architect I'll focus primarily on the architectural ellipses that occur in the internship process.

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