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    NCARB punts, AIA returns with undignified titles

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

    I've blogged in the past about NCARB's 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 AIA's website outlined the position of the AIA with regard to the use of the title 'intern.' AIA now strongly supports two titles for licensure candidates: 'architectural associate' and 'design professional.'

    First, allow me to pick my jaw up off the floor and congratulate the AIA. Of course, I have to quickly shrug my shoulders as apparently this change happened in December last year when the AIA Board of Directors updated the AIA's position statements to clarify the terminology, yet this is the first that anyone is even talking about it. I'll admit I missed it and I'm pretty hyper aware of this topic, but it never crossed my radar. Up until this post on the AIA's website, the only instance I can find that even notes the AIA's change in position is an article published on AIA Philadelphia's website from February 8, 2017. 

    Second, as happy as it makes me to see the AIA supporting and lobbying for a couple of titles, I'm pretty disappointed in the titles. 'Design professional' could describe just about anyone involved in any type of design. Nothing in the title directly points to architecture. Even then, as noted in the AIA's article, Vanesa Alicea, AIA states, "you need to be registered to be considered a 'professional.'" I thought my professional degree and full-time job qualified me as a 'professional.' At any rate, don't expect the title to catch on anytime soon with other professionals. Sorry, I meant to say architects.

    The other title option the AIA supports, 'architectural associate,' is only slightly better. It at least acknowledges the titled individual works in architecture, but it steps on some already established norms in many firms where 'associate' is a reserved title signifying leadership in the firm. At the same time it follows AIA norms for membership levels, so there is at least that going for it. However, it does seem redundant when it all comes together on a business card: Everyday Intern, Assoc. AIA, Architectural Associate. Furthermore, it still doesn't pass the legal test as some jurisdictions legislate against the use of any derivation of 'architect' in a title without being registered.

    As an editorial note at the end of the article, the AIA seems poised to advance this discussion. "If a new, dignified title for architectural graduates arises, AIA will evaluate updating this position statement. Going forward, there will continue to be opportunities to discuss and evaluate the validity of the new titles." They follow this with a link to fill out a form if you are a licensure candidate interested in participating in the discussion. I suppose the best part of all this is that the AIA acknowledges that the titles they've come up with are not quite dignified. I suppose that is worth applauding. 

    You know what would be a dignified title for an architectural graduate ... 'architect.' Start lobbying for that and then I'll be impressed. The AIA, as part of the Five Presidents' Council, was presented with the Final Report of the Collateral Internship Task Force back in the early 2000s and it outlines as a recommendation that the title 'architect' be given to architectural graduates. Of course it is "based on the full and successful implementation of the concepts espoused in [the] report." Some of the recommendations the report makes were initially rejected, but are now more widely accepted. Is it time to reevaluate the report's recommendations including the title of 'architect' being granted to degree holders?



     
    • 30 Comments

    • Non Sequitur

      Just wrote those exams if the label is so important people. Stop rebranding draftsman to sooth your hurt feelings.

      Mar 28, 17 7:37 pm
      tintt

      You know there is a three year minimum waiting period to earn experience. In reality it is more like 7 years on average the last time I checked so if you want to be accurate with your statement you might say, "After 3-7 years, just take (write, in kanadian) your exams (you wimps)."

      RickB-Astoria

      There is a title that unlicensed architecture school graduates can obtain after three years of experience after passing a bank of exams and that is Certified Professional Building Designer (CPBD) until you complete the passing of the ARE and any other state specific requirements. That's an option if you plan on not being licensed for 10+ years after graduating from architecture school. Otherwise, you can call yourself a building designer. You are not an "Architect" in any of the states of the U.S. until you complete the architectural licensing process for those respective states.

      JeromeS

      Back to this again? And here I thought this was a kinder, gentler, RWCB.

      RickB-Astoria

      I'm just stating the prevailing law of the land for practicing architecture in the U.S. The title "Architect" is protected and regulated. I don't write the laws. The point is, the title is a conferred professional status like Professional Engineer and even Certified Professional Building Designer (CPBD) once you meet the requirements for these professional statuses may you then use it. While Professional Engineer and Architect are professional status conferred by state licensing boards. CPBD is a professional status conferred by a non-state professional association.

      The point isn't who confers the professional status but that you must complete whatever is required for that professional status to be conferred to you. If you want the professional status, you must complete the process. No amount of wishing is going to make me a licensed architect in Oregon. I must go through the hoops to get licensed. While new pathways may open up that can allow me to get licensed, I have to do what it takes to become licensed. I can't just wish myself to be a CPBD, either. I have to meet the requirements. It is not just going to be given to anyone.

      You still have to do your part in the process of earning it. There is a premise of meritocracy at the heart of this subject matter. Is that a fair point?

      I'm not advocating for a rebranding of draftsman. I've never considered myself a draftsman, nor do I think a B.Arch or M.Arch degree holder should as well.

      And I have taken the exams. I'll find out if I passed the last one tomorrow and I expect to send in my application the the state shortly after that.

      This isn't about hurt feelings for me. I've always accepted the title of intern. I don't like it but it doesn't hurt my feelings. Even though I've accepted it, that doesn't mean there isn't a better way.

      Mar 29, 17 10:08 am
      makingspace

      sadly, i hold an m.arch and am working through idp, not just doing renderings, and i think i'm treated as a drafter. not sure how i can re-brand or take control of what my job is and turn it into anything but that.

      Ask for other responsibilities. Use AXP as a way to leverage other responsibilities. Keep in mind that drafting is part of the profession, but it should not be all you do. Failing all of this, find a different job.

      RickB-Astoria

      Architectural Design Assistant?

      Rick, you really don't understand the point of all this do you?

      RickB-Astoria

      Enlighten me then. At this point, I see unlicensed designers (building designers... yes, that's you) that are working for architects at architectural firms wanting to be called Architect.

      RickB-Astoria

      I'll take a read of it but remember, you have your own perspective on the subject matter and the threads only contains a small sampling of individuals points of views expressed. These aren't the first time I heard these topics. What is commonly been the course for the past oh 10 years (and very probably a large bit longer), I've heard this general theme many times over by many more other people as well.

      RickB-Astoria

      What I have hear over the years is basically the same things coming from the same kind or category of people in the occupation. I'll get to that later. Mainly, these people are often 'interns' or other unlicensed designers working for architects. It opens up a can of worms if someone just because they have an architecture education is called 'Architect'. What about us building designers who designs exempt buildings often on our own. If I design a house as a building designer, I do this for clients on my own in its entirety with all the liability that goes with it. When you are unlicensed and work for an architecture firm, by the laws of many states, you are not permitted to design all aspects of any project that requires an architect's stamp. You are suppose to be have limitations applied. The architect stamping the project is suppose to reserve aspects of the project to his/her direct preparation and other aspects maybe prepared under his/her direction, control, and supervision.

      I'll raise this question for you, if the title 'Architect' was deregulated but the title 'Registered Architect' or 'Licensed Architect' was regulated, how will a client who is looking for professional services going to determine the difference between say, You or I offering services from that of a Registered Architect. Would we both be categorized in the same category in a phone book (or similar online listing). I proposed an option in the past, a requirement like Oregon's CCB requirements for contractors that requires "Registered Architects" to list their license#.

      This can help but what if some of us are CPBDs and list our certification #. This can get muddy, quickly for the untrained eye of the general public.

      RickB-Astoria

      I raise these points for some matters of considerations to think it all out. After all, until you are licensed, for the most part, you're professional title status is no different than me. I know there is some interest in some sort of title and a credential associated with the title. If you want a 'reserved title' & credential before you become a Registered Architect, there already are. I said, CPBD earlier for example. The CPBD title is protected by trademark laws that are national and potentially internationally protected. This title is protected and only conferred to licensees of the trademark after those licensees meets the qualification credentials. This is what the certification is. I can't use the CPBD title until I complete the process (certification) and therefore licensed to use the CPBD trademark(s). Something similar goes on with regards to the state licensing and the reserved professional titles. Basically, the state is reserving those titles much like a trademark. What I hear or read often is people whining about not being allowed to use the Architect title. They think they ought to be allowed to use it just because they have a degree and/or is working for an architectural firm.

      RickB-Astoria

      You know my point isn't about you getting a CPBD certification. Okay.

      Consider this: How would the general public differentiate an unlicensed "Architect" from that of a licensed/registered Architect in a phone book or online listing such as an Angie's List listing.

      I had barely dodged getting fined in two states because of an auto-generated page listing on Angie's List that categorized my services under the category of 'Architect'. I had created the account on Angie's List under the category: "Architect & Building Designers". But an auto-generated listing from that account trimmed off an important distinction.

      If you take that experience into account, you'll understand that I do understand and recognize the desire for the Architect title but also should understand my concern and aware of significant opposition.

      Chemex

      How about architect and registered architect.

      Though, they haven't solved the larger problem, which is the corrupt system of never ending education (credits after real education) that wouldn't be tolerated in any other profession. 

      Mar 29, 17 7:46 pm

      Architect (after accredited degree) and Registered Architect are my preference. But even though the continuing ed can be a PITA I don't think it's useless. We DO operate in a quickly-evolving and complex discipline. Realtors have to do continuing ed, too.

      Rick, your inline replies are predictably drifting off the topic of the comment you're replying to. 

      The thing that differentiates you from the vast majority of the people discussing this topic is a professional degree in architecture. If you'd take the time to read through my most recent posts you'd see that I'm not trying to advocate for any sort of professional title for you, unless you want to go through the process to earn one. As you've explained ad nauseam, you can earn your CPBD and use that title if you want. You could also go back to school, earn a professional degree and then I'd start to advocate for you.

      The point you don't seem to understand is there is a group of professionals that have put forth a lot of effort and achieved a certain status in this profession, yet the title they are given does not respect their effort or achievement with a dignified title. The change here has nothing to do with simply allowing anyone that wants to get involved in the architectural profession being able to call themselves an architect. In other words, people without the conviction to complete certain requirements, but who want to dabble in architecture, would not be architects.

      All the change I would advocate for is to allow NAAB-accredited professional degree holders (B.Arch & M.Arch) the ability to call themselves architect. The title would still be regulated, it would just have a different group it is attached to. When an architect puts forth the effort to complete the other 2/3 of the requirements (experience and examination) and becomes licensed, they would then be allowed to use the regulated title 'registered architect.' 

      Distinguishing between an architect and a registered architect would be simple. Registered architects would be allowed to use the postnominals RA.

      Mar 30, 17 11:49 am
      RickB-Astoria

      In my opinion, a 'professional' degree is just a label to differentiate a 4 year length degree and a five year length (assuming you take ~15 credits per term/semester) degree. As you know, to become a licensed/registered architect, an NAAB accredited degree is not the only path and that a person may become licensed through experience path. As we are seeing, a person may be able to become NCARB certified with an education portfolio who doesn't have an NAAB accredited degree. This would replace BEA from what I understand. It does seem like an interesting approach. As you should know, a true professional isn't a title but a way of being. A person can have so called titles and yet not really professional. It is sad and unfortunately true. Now consider not just a person but a business. Architectural firms have to be registered in many states and if the firm's name contains Architect, Architecture and/or Architectural, it is likely to need to be registered. Phone books and online listing isn't just person's but businesses. Businesses won't necessarily be using the words "Registered Architect" or "RA" in a phone book or online listing. Remember, the general public by large are not architects by any measure. The problem you face is in the proposal is that there are many legitimate professionals in this profession in the same status and doing the same kind of work you would be without necessarily having an NAAB accredited degree. There would be those without an NAAB accredited degree who also can legitimately argue that they would qualify for the architect title as anyone with an NAAB accredited degree would be.

      RickB-Astoria

      There has to be some flexibility to consider in the process of determining if someone may use the 'Architect' title based on your proposal of the generic 'Architect' title being authorized to be used by those who graduates from an NAAB accredited architecture program. What about people from states where alternative paths of initial licensing who completes education & experience alternatives in lieu of an NAAB accredited degree but not necessarily having completed the AXP & ARE. Should they also be legitimately called 'Architects' as well because they completed an alternative to an NAAB accredited degree that is acceptable for satisfying the educational component of the NAAB accredited degree or even complete the NCARB education portfolio option prior to initial licensure as a step in their NCARB Certification status. I want to make clear that we don't want to be forgetting those good honest members of this occupation as well. It's a thought that I am merely trying to encourage dialogue and thinking as well. I think you are a smart person on this forum and these discussions should encourage some detailed thinking and considerations. Since the moment this was to be moved forward by any body of people, it will surely open a storm. A part of me, likes the idea but I'm aware of the challenges you would be facing. I know there are a substantive body of licensed/registered Architects who would be against it.

      RickB-Astoria

      As for me, I can pursue Architectural licensing via some experience path in a state. In that same time frame, I would also have to work on an Education Portfolio for the upcoming NCARB Certification process. By doing this during pre-licensure time frame. Then I do reciprocity for Oregon with an NCARB Certification. I can certainly be NCBDC certified as well but that maybe redundant but they also may serve different purposes. I can get the latter prior to the NCARB Certification. For me, it would be kind of like the engineering path where you take a Fundamental of Engineering exam and then take the P.E. exam. The NCBDC (CPBD) exam would be kind of like a "Fundamental of Architecture" exam and just to warm up on test taking skills prior to taking the ARE. This is just a round about way of going about things. Either way, I think if we did something like a Fundamental of Architecture exam that graduates of architecture school and those who completes and fulfills an alternative education/experience in lieu of an NAAB accredited degree would take and then is granted "Architect" status. Once they complete AXP and pass the ARE, they can then become "Licensed Architect" or "Registered Architect".

      The response to all three of your replies is in the second paragraph of my comment you're replying to; "The thing that differentiates you ..."

      As for other pathways to be come a registered architect; my proposal wouldn't affect any of them. It wouldn't necessarily allow someone following those pathways to use the title of 'architect' ... but I also wouldn't really care if NCARB, AIA, AIAS, ACSA, and NAAB agreed to allow someone following those pathways to use the title either. My point is that it is outside the focus of my post as well as outside the focus of the position statement made by the AIA.

      RickB-Astoria

      Okay, fair enough. I wanted to be sure the thought is encompassing all people (with or without an NAAB accredited degree) who meets a relatively equivalent point in their professional development to have the same equal access to titles. I am not against people pursuing NAAB accredited degrees but I wouldn't want policies that unfairly treats people who pursue alternate paths to the same 'Architect' title if people with an NAAB accredited degree is offered such title. Just because you are a fresh out of architecture school graduate with an NAAB accredited degree doesn't make you significantly above a diversely experienced architectural professional who doesn't have an NAAB accredited degree. It's not really about me and my path to licensure as that is my own. Before long, almost no one really cares how you reach the status of registered architect but that you are a registered architect. Again, congrats on your completion of the ARE.

      RickB-Astoria

      Just to be clear, I am not asking you to advocate for me. I'm asking you to consider the other paths to licensure. The licensing qualification is composed of three components: Education, Structured Experience, and Examination. Some expressions refer to it as the three E's. Some states allows for alternative education and experience options in lieu of an NAAB accredited degree to satisfy the "Education" component. AXP is used to satisfy the structured Experience component and the ARE (and any additional state exams) is used to satisfy the Exam. In my opinion, if someone satisfies the Education component (in whatever forms that is accepted for initial licensure) then the person should be permitted the Architect title as would be allowed for a person completing only the NAAB accredited degree if that was the case. This is for making it fair for all people on paths to architectural licensure.

      RickB-Astoria

      My own path to licensure is whatever gets me there. I have already spent a great ordeal amount of time in college/university. I believe others have said that if I am going to pursue licensure that at this point it would be better for me to just get a job working perhaps for an architect or something where I am in a suitable working environment under the supervision of an architect and get the IDP (now AXP) completed and the remaining years of experience that maybe needed for initial licensure. What I am considering for myself in this process is getting initial licensure via some form of education/experience based alternative to an NAAB accredited degree. I am looking into this in the process: http://www.ncarb.org/Certification-and-Reciprocity/Alternate-Paths-to-Certification/Education-Alternative.aspx

      By pursuing this option, I can become NCARB Certified as well to ease reciprocity into other states. For one, I would have to undergo the education portfolio path for the NCARB Cert. This is something that I think would be acceptable to me to pursue. I  have to complete the licensure process for initial licensure and I think I would do the education portfolio process as I go if I can. 

      jla-x

      Agree.  The problem with the term architect being regulated is that it discourages grads from pursuing roads less traveled thus stifling innovation "working outside the box" and narrowing the scope of the profession.  Its a generic term with a history that is greater than its current legal status.  It may sound silly to some, but the all or nothing attitude really creates more than just bruised egos, it actually lessens ones perceived and actual value within the profession and in sister professions that the grad may dare to venture into which has consequences on salary.  It would be empowering for grads, and wise for the profession to allow that title to infiltrate other arenas.  Best PR imo.  It was also allow more seasoned unregistered architects to pursue residential work without all of the confusion, while allowing the client to distinguish from an academically trained designer/architect from a non-academically trained designer.  I like the Architect and RA distinction.   I cant imaging a situation where this would cause any real world problem.  Its nonsense.  

      Mar 30, 17 3:52 pm

      I didn't touch on this in the post but the Final Report from the CITF talks about how this would be a paradigm shift from an exclusionary environment in the profession to one of inclusion of emerging professionals and it would expand the values and aspirations of the profession.

      "This recommendation presumes that through the collaborative process outlined herein, there is an elevation of the quality of the education, experience, and examination process. The recommendation further presumes a fundamental paradigm shift from the current exclusionary and qualifying environment, to one of inclusion of emerging professionals. By including these graduates, they will have the potential to become more engaged in the profession as a whole, and contribute to the profession and society because of their elevation and status that recognizes their skills and knowledge."

      "Through the celebration and inclusion of these architects within the larger context of society, these individuals have the potential to expand the influence of the highest values and aspirations of the architectural profession and the quality of the built environment in service to society."

      jla-x

      You all are looking to the wolves to protect the sheep.  The aia and ncarb are lobbies.  They have an interest in maintaining title protectionism.  What needs happen is a deregulation effort at the state level.  

      Mar 30, 17 3:56 pm
      jla-x

      also, if you have an m-arch you may legally call yourself a "master of architecture".  The degree IS your property (paid and earned), and you cannot be denied property without due process of law.  Prohibiting one from using the term conveyed on ones diploma, would infact be an illegal seizure of property.  The Constitution is the law regardless of state laws.  For instance, a state cannot enforce a law that is unconstitutional even if its on the books. That comes from the mouth of a very good attorney. 

      Mar 30, 17 4:02 pm
      RickB-Astoria

      Actually a person is legally permitted to say they have an M.Arch.

      jla-x

      No one has to give permission if you own it.  Point is "master of architecture" would be corny to use as a title, but legally one could 

      Mar 30, 17 8:15 pm
      RickB-Astoria

      Ok. Maybe I phrased it wrong. You are already allowed under the governing laws (that includes the Constitution) that you can say you have an architecture degree or taken architecture courses. The only legal restriction that is permitted is that states and their statutes and administrative rules and the state agencies charged with enforcement of said laws & rules ---- is that they can get ya if you misrepresent yourself as licensed or registered to practice architecture.

      jla-x

      Just saying...Just to be a dick, everyone with a degree should use that title.  Then the public will really be confused.  "Hey bob is an architect, but this guy is a master of architecture...He must be bob's overlord" 

      Mar 30, 17 8:56 pm
      RickB-Astoria

      jla-x,

      I'm currently looking at pathways for licensure and ultimately reciprocity back into Oregon that would not require me to go back to accruing a mountain of student loan debt. I already have a hill of a debt that is being worked on to be gone in the not too distant future. I don't need to go back to make a mountain of a debt. I already spent enough time in college to be spending a bunch more time in a setting where I don't 'earn' money but accrue debts. 

      Mar 30, 17 9:11 pm
      no_form

      the future you've been talking about for years is here rick-bsmnt-astoria. looks like you haven't done anything. massive fail.

      RickB-Astoria

      Maybe the student loan debt being paid off might be something.

      Ok Rick, I'll bite. Looking at the various pathways to licensure and their respective titles under a proposal that NAAB-accredited degree holders would be titled 'architect' and licensed architects would be titled 'registered architect' ... I'd offer the following ...

      First, understand that NCARB certification would be distinct from this discussion. You linked above to the NCARB website for alternative pathways to certification. These all require that you become a 'registered architect' so following one of those pathways would first stipulate you become licensed. That isn't the point of this as a licensed architect already has the title. 

      So we are only really discussing alternative pathways to initial licensure. For NCARB there are two possible alternatives to the standard NAAB degree/AXP/ARE pathway:

      1. Foreign Architects: This pathway requires that foreign architects hold a degree from an accredited/validated/officially recognized architecture program, and to be registered/credentialed in a foreign country. I'm ok with these candidates for initial licensure being allowed to use the title 'architect' before they are licensed in a US jurisdiction as they are architects in their own respective countries. This is common practice anyway when referring to foreign architects and as far as I know, no foreign architect has come up against any legal issues with this, unless they are pursuing work in a jurisdiction where they do not hold a license ... as would anyone who doesn't hold a license in that jurisdiction. All the title would do is recognize the achievement and title they are already afforded in their own country. 
      2. Education Evaluation Services for Architects (EESA): For candidates that do not have a NAAB-accredited degree, this will evaluate their education to see if it meets the NCARB Education Standard for licensure. I'm ok with candidates being allowed to use the title 'architect' if NCARB deems their education is sufficient. This would put them on par with those candidates who have a NAAB-accredited degree.

      Of course, you know that each jurisdiction has their own requirements and some may not allow these alternative pathways to initial licensure. Some jurisdictions may allow alternatives for experience in lieu of education that NCARB doesn't. For example, your neighbor to the north, Washington, allows initial licensure for candidates without a NAAB-accredited degree as long as they document enough additional experience in addition to completing AXP/IDP. I believe that is fairly standard among those jurisdictions that allow this alternative.

      As to the question of when those candidates might be allowed to call themselves 'architects,' if they would be allowed to use the title at all? That would be something I would defer to the individual jurisdiction. Personally, I think there should be some point where they would be allowed to use the title as a recognition of their achievement. Perhaps it is after successful completion of AXP and a certain number of years of additional experience. Maybe it is simply after completion of AXP; the point is that the individual state would determine that point. This might result in a candidate in Washington (for example) being able to use the title of 'architect' but the same candidate would not be able to use the same title in Oregon. I'm ok with that.

      I also understand that any of this discussion is moot without the individual jurisdictions allowing the use of the title that is different that what is probably already in their laws and regulations. This is why I think it is essentially NCARB's problem to solve. NCARB codified the intern titles in their Model Law which the jurisdictions look to when updating their own practice laws. If NCARB isn't willing to take the titles out, offer an alternative, and lobby for it, the jurisdictions (actual members of NCARB) are not going to do anything about it.

      Mar 31, 17 12:27 pm
      RickB-Astoria

      "First, understand that NCARB certification would be distinct from this discussion. " 

      I understand that part. I'll get back to the replying to the rest in a bit. I just have some stuff to do at the moment.

      RickB-Astoria

      I understand the NCARB Certification process does require a person to become initially licensed, first. Initial licensure paths are always determined by the states. NCARB itself does not license architects. The states do. I am with you on the statement, "...being able to use the title of 'architect' but the same candidate would not be able to use the same title in Oregon". It's basically like we do with the title "Intern Architect" or "Architect-In-Training" or "Architectural Intern" and other such titles in the past and present in most states.

      What you are allowed to use as a title in these cases are determined by the State. What NCARB or AIA calls unlicensed designers working on architectural licensing are legally nothing. They are just verbal expression by these organizations for their publication uses --- just like your job position title used internally at a firm. Licensing boards are not in business to confer titles to people not licensed unless you simply want to be called "unlicensed person". There is a lot of legal hurdles to be addressed which I think you'll agree with me on that across the 50 states and 4 territories under the 54 NCARB-member jurisdictions.

      You clearly indicated to me on the last paragraph that we are in fact on the same page that at this time, the discussion is just that... a discussion and beyond that it is moot until state level actions are taken to implement. NCARB can certainly nudge it in model law but remember each state can either implement those changes into their respective laws/rules or they don't.

      I will say I was kind of digressing from the core subject in my comments referring to my own plans with regards to NCARB Certification and licensure process. If there is any confusion made there, I apologize.

      RickB-Astoria

      "They are just verbal expression by these organizations for their publication uses --- just like your job position title used internally at a firm."

      should read

      "They are just verbal/written expression by these organizations for their publication uses --- just like your job position title used internally at a firm."

      RickB-Astoria

      Two examples that I have thought about are two states with an experience base initial licensure. Example: California and Arizona. Since those states would allow starting the ARE after meeting the "education" component of 5 years of experience, even if AXP isn't completed. In those cases, I would recommend the "Architect" title allowance when a person meets the education component of their initial licensure and allowed to take the ARE. In those cases, it works at that point fairly well.

      In the case of Washington, it would be when a person meets the education requirement or after documenting 6 years of experience. When WA state allows the taking of the ARE is irrelevant as it would be in any of the other states in my opinion.

      In other states that allows early access to taking the ARE for those on alternative paths to licensure, the time a person is allowed to begin the ARE can be a good point in time for that title being authorized.

      jla-x

      Ncarb will not change anything.  Their existence is rooted in the title protectionism racket.  This is why a design union/lobby is needed.  Propose bills that deregulate the title architect and reserve RA for registered architects as many have suggested.  In this political climate title deregulation efforts may have more bite.  Im not a lawyer, but it seems that the the argument should be that state boards, as well as Ncarb, are causing a financial harm to unlicensed designers as they cannot accurately convey their job role. (since many are working in jobs with a role equivilent to that of an architect, or as an unlicensed designer doing exempt work in the same capacity as an architect.)  

      Mar 31, 17 1:03 pm

      I only agree with you in part, jla-x but I'm just posting to say that your use of the phrase "I'm not a lawyer" in that comment made me guffaw.

      jla-x

      Why? 

      jla-x

      The irony is that all these sjw's who talk about the demographic imbalances that exist within the profession have not proposed any action around this issue of title or the mandates (idp) which give power to predjudice .  Women and minorities are not being stifled by urinals or penis shaped building, or wandering eyes.  Title regulation and idp is causing this rift.  Its no coincidence that schools are 50% female while female architects are much much more of a minority.  Empower the disenfranchised.  Thats the most effective and powerful catalyst. 

      Mar 31, 17 1:22 pm
      Just-_-sentinel

      I'm in concurrence with jla.  We are supposed to be placated with lobbyists arguing semantics of what equality looks like on a piece of paper in a profession that is currently exploring more ways to give it's education away to anyone interested for free; like it's some open source coding project that can reduce fresh water shortages in evolving nations? Do we really need to stir the socio-economic pot more amongst the technical level hires, some of which actually have inferior educations all while the billing index just tips over 50, month after month, if you aggregate all the US's regions?  The cheap hires are the winners, nothing new; this is why this topic is even on the table. People with money, architects and young architectural prodigies, people that can afford to go the extra mile, are running into actual obstructions even when the deck is purported to be stacked in favor of those with economic privilege.

      Every region favors their technical school grads- the less fortunate population; offices assert their positions as meaningful benefactors to the region. What we are not doing is providing any special opportunity or program for people that undoubtedly dedicated more time and energy to a singular lifetime decision at the tender age 17~18; the extra education receives no additional merit and I don’t know if this title business matters to citizens or architect ultimately, since plebeians rarely page through a phone book or any device so haphazard to hire an architect.

      As far as I can tell, the US is still the center of the universe when it comes to ideologies and education. The US is also where the most motivated citizens of the world come to incubate and grow their small practices granted the opportunities that capitalism and democracy have provided ( which obviously is not the case anywhere else ). We can’t be promising opportunity and preaching hypocrisy.

      We have to be able to use our own best interests as valid reference points to work from- not legislating from the periphery; making the path to licensure or “equality” (or whatever…. I don’t know what’s on the SJW agenda lately and whether architects are supposed to be sympathetic to the prior and the perpetual eddies in the political abyss*) more tenuous and narrow with every years passing.

      Looking at it from a simple regulatory perspective will reveal all that is asinine; we are simply licensed by the state, so we need to be responsible actors and stewards of the state and what it stands for and all rules underlined on this piece of paper? Then we need to be cognizant of what that means on a federal level? Then on the global level too? So…. you don’t even know how to start dealing with all of this until you’ve submitted all your experience and tests to the state to approve, so here’s what’s left and be glad you can’t make those mistakes and jeopardize all those people’s safety?

      Engineers cover the most critical structural safety issues…. Have we not all seen architecture created without the inclusion of architects before? Seriously? I am supposed to believe there is currently some actual overwhelming strife inside offices amongst associates, interns, and underlings about their titles? This just seems like a cunning way of approaching an actual issue of how the offices fail to embrace or celebrate the profession.

       I had the privilege of working for Robert A.M Stern- now that’s how you run an architecture office- now that’s how you save a dying profession. Celebrate the process by making iterations, models, and experimenting, value the process highly, and bill for the process accordingly. That’s somewhere to start. Those legend came from esteemed programs- if you diminish those programs and their effects there are no legends, there is no more profession.

       Offices want to function on the premise of the lowest bid and there’s no good reason to operate any other way, unless mandated. That’s where we are.

      It’s up to us as independent small practices to set the tone and offer environments that provide something different than the corporate EEOC compliant- we survive off public work- and some other non-for-profit coalition crap- wink wink and dirty handshake behind the back fingers crossed- or languish in the throws of unilateral regulation. We are the architects that do the work, we can present ourselves anyway we want, we can take on more risk, and our business will not waiver because the business is dependent on the culture, commerce, and real issues of the physical place that cannot be refuted and will not change whether the ethnic and gender composition of the firm is equal throughout the hierarchy or not.

      All I can say is that I have 3-4 year interdisciplinary experience post graduation and a NCARB approved B.Arch, but without accumulated hours in an architectural setting - without the verified record of experience that is mandated by the state in order to pursue my professional track further- I appear no more useful or respected than a draftsman from a two year school.

       Partly of my own accord, but absolutely in part because of the regulatory bodies that eclipse their own members and deal in the fates and futures of others within the field.

       As for me, the two-year architects, and the H-1B visa hardened special weapons, the departure point is identical, but I suppose in the end the reciprocity I receive is an adequate piecemeal consolation. Furthermore compensation and your role in the professional setting is completely contingent upon hopes and dreams. Candidates that “outperform” others during employment commonly outpace others in their own professional track as well, regardless of the size of the initial investment or educational track you chose. I guess it was just my donation to the betterment of society; a small offering to the alter of higher enlightenment that we seem to have become the exclusive stewards, clergy, and champions of. 

      Apr 3, 17 1:59 pm
      Just-_-sentinel

      Good post EverydayIntern.

      I'd like to see some of the blog authors hired by archinect- all of the writing/ content that I see from staff is complete trash. Bunch a spoiled overgrown dependents "currently based" in LA or NY taking orders from -blank- . Give me a break. There's plenty of capable people in between that accept paypal payments and can work "from home". I'm sure Donna would appreciate some participation dollars too.

      Apr 3, 17 2:09 pm
      Volunteer

      The Europeans seem to do OK with calling their recent graduates "architects". Sometimes I go for days without reading about building collapses in Europe. I think it is all about $ myself. You can treat a 'design professional' like crap while you make him jump through hoops for years. It harder to do if he is referred to by the name which is on his earned, accredited degree.

      Apr 3, 17 4:49 pm
      jla-x

      Well said!

      archi_dude

      Real world issue of doing architect and registered architect when I'm already regularly getting asked what's the difference / justification of higher fees for a drafter vs. an architect? This is what the issue would be, you'd have developers and home owners say they hired an "architect"  (cheap newbie right out of school) and that this half the price drafter knew more than them. Most people can't say what an architect does, you think they'd understand the difference / value between two new titles? It's a profession, you have to complete all of it, I'm sorry this is the first time your trophy hasn't been given to you for effort. Sack up, get it done, don't bring the profession down to your weak level. 

      Apr 4, 17 1:26 am
      tintt

      You mean those terrible homeowners and developers don't know that you are entitled to that work for the fees that you demand? What is your address? I'll send you a box of handkies, you poor thing.

      Not sure I understand your point archi_dude. Is your argument that the AIA should be explaining the value you, as an architect, brings to your clients who would rather hire a draftsperson? That sounds more like an issue between you and your clients. I'm sorry if that trophy isn't just being handed to you. I mean you went through all that effort to get your license, shouldn't they just hand you the money? Why would you need to show the value to your client?

      jla-x

      the state has ZERO obligation or authority to protect your fees.

      Volunteer

      So, The Europeans are wrong for calling their recent architectural school graduates 'architects' and the medical profession is wrong in calling their recent medical school graduates 'medical doctors' and the engineering profession is wrong in calling their new engineering graduates 'engineers'. But you, and the AIA, have it all figured out. Thanks.

      Apr 4, 17 9:19 am
      JeromeS

      Protectionism (monopoly) for profession should not be the objective of a licensing board.  If "half priced drafters" are producing a product that meets the needs of developers and homeowners - so be it.  Conversation regarding deregulation of the legal profession abounds, e.g. letting less-than-lawyers prepare wills, file deeds, etc.

      What do YOU produce that makes you better? 

      jla-x

      Lawyers can sit for bar right after graduation. They do not have an experiance requirement. The tests are not a major barrier, IDP is.

      archi_dude

      Generally clients don't argue against using a engineer, most people aren't attempting to do medical work themselves. However using an architect at all or whittling down their contribution to just a basic design for the design build firm is a real issue. You are essentially devaluing the profession to a building artist service of sorts. The reasons to not do this are pretty clear, the example I offered in my previous post is a very real and hell why even get a license in the scenario that you want. I mean you could practice with an LLC and no liability.

      Apr 4, 17 9:59 am
      JeromeS

      Why pay for a service that provides no value?

      archi_dude

      If you don't have the technical knowledge to pass these tests, I'm sorry you aren't an architect. There's no reason to lower the professions standards because you are too left brained to learn some basic code and construction systems.

      Apr 4, 17 10:02 am

      The whole left brain vs right brain thing has been debunked; you should google it.

      archi_dude

      Figure of speech, you should google it.

      jla-x

      The tests are not a major barrier. Its the required 3-10 year internship. Stop pretending its a meritocracy.

      Volunteer

      As an aside, law students who graduate are entitled to put LLB (Legum Baccalaureus) after their name. After passing the bar exam they are referred to as Attorney at Law. The public doesn't seem to be in any great danger by recognizing their accomplishment in graduating from a professional school.  

      Apr 4, 17 10:37 am
      tintt

      I was talking with a lawyer this past weekend and he told me it was customary to give bar exam candidates 3 months of paid time off to study for and take their exams. I wonder how many architecture school grads could benefit from a similar policy instead of the current policies which require using evenings and weekends to study and vacation time to sit for the exams... Maybe they aren't dumb, but just a little overworked to take the exams? 

      Apr 4, 17 10:42 am
      archi_dude

      The difference in law is the reason for using services of lawyers vs someone with no credentials is well known and accepted in general society. The reason for engaging with a more expensive architect vs. a unlicensed designer or drafter is pretty much unknown. There are a few surveys showing in the US and U.K. most people have no idea what architects do or contribute to a project beyond some pretty pictures. Dropping the standards of the title so the profession can be "inclusive to related arts" or "allow young talented designers" have a chance will only cause the profession to be increasingly be associated with pretty pictures being it's only contribution on a project and thus, less incentive for people to use architects and yes, lower cash flows which result in the lack of perks like offering time-off to study. Focus on making the profession more valuable instead of devaluing it further please.

      Apr 4, 17 3:46 pm
      JeromeS

      I would argue that it is "known".

      I can live in a vinyl covered shit box, with 4 bedrooms/2 1/2 baths and a garage door elevation for $250,000 for which I pay an architect 5%  OR- I can live in the same 4 bedroom/2 1/2 bath, garage elevation house for $250,000 for which i pay a developer/draftsman to draw.

      The difference is negligible.  This is likely the only interaction the homeowner will ever have with an "architect".  It is NOT a service that offers value added.  Even for a second / vacation home, the budgetary restraints for most people force them to opt for size rather than design.  Again, the architect does not bring a recognizable value added service.

      archi_dude

      If you are working on hospitals or schools you are totally right. If you are trying to break out on your own and starting with residential and smaller commercial, no...no definitely confusion there ha ha.

      tintt

      Engaging the services of a licensed architect is REQUIRED BY LAW on most non-single-family projects. What type of projects are you losing to non-licensed designers?

      tintt

      Simul-post... I see that you are working on residential and small commercial where unlicensed designers are allowed to take on projects. So you are going to have to compete with them because nobody owes you anything, you have to earn it.

      RickB-Astoria

      tintt, yeah. In the U.S., that is definitely the case. As for UK or some other countries, different laws and kind of out of scope of the topic in my opinion. A non-licensed designer (building designer) can range the gamut a lot in terms of competence. Certified (but still non-licensed) designers tends to raise the minimum standards to some defined level. As for quality, that's a big question. We get people on both sides of the licensed fence producing shit boxes and we got the same thing going on on both sides of the license fence producing high quality awesomely good work. So now what?

      tintt

      So now what? So compete on ability and quality of delivery.

      archi_dude

      Yes tint I do, so I'm EARNING a credential that through lobbying and name recognition allows me to more easily justify my fees on top following through and competing on quality and delivery. The world does not owe YOU anything you can earn the license just like many others and then enjoy its perks. All your doing is complaining and trying to take that credential without working for it, so as someone who is taking the time to earn it I will call you out on the laziness you are trying to disguise as "inclusiveness." You can go be a designer as much as you want but don't try and steal what I'm working for.

      RickB-Astoria

      tintt.    :-)

      tintt

      tintt is licensed. And working on a single family addition where it is not required and is getting an 8.25% fee for it.

      RickB-Astoria

      :-)

      jla-x

      "Steal" you imply that you own it...lol. Again, the state has ZERO obligation or authority to protect your feeelings, ego, or pocket. The state can only enact regulations in the name of hsw. That is the limit of their power. Hsw is often the guise that lobbies use to create protectionism...but can you really tell me that the hsw of the public would be in danger if we had architects and RAs? If not, im sure title deregulation bills can/will pass if pushed with enough support...

      RickB-Astoria

      Despite how the email makes it appear as a reply to me, but I see jla-x is replying to archi_dude. One aspect that jla-x brings forth can really challenge architects in the 21st century. For example, take a look at Sweden. There is a country that doesn't regulate the general title Architect nor does it really regulate the practice of architecture in such a way that you have to have an architect license to practice architecture. Lets remember that architect licensing laws were brought into existence a century ago. How Architects practiced architecture is very different today then back then. In Oregon, Architect's role in many ways was much like the General contractor. It was the Architect's role to bring the construction team together. The Architect was the GC / Master Builder who contracted the builders. Construction companies weren't called contractors. They were called builders. They were contracted by the Architect who was client's Authorized Representative & PM/CM-in-charge. The Architect oversaw construction companies work day in and day out through daily site visits and sometimes multiple times a day. Architects also did their own engineering and only involved engineers for specialized structural systems like trusses and other often specialized steel building systems often found in steel bridge construction so they commissioned the engineers for that specialized need. Since the late 19th and early 20th century, architects have stopped performing those roles dramatically. In Oregon (and similarly in Washington state), in the 1960s, when construction contractor license was established and construction companies (builders) began to become known as construction contractors and over time, took more direction over construction and Architects' role shifted from actual construction supervision to what is more construction process observation (a more hands-off) approach even though it had been on the book for decades until the 21st century where some states actually changed the wordage in the statutes. When you look at the role of Architect a century ago, you can easily see the need for Architects to be licensed. Add to that, there wasn't state adopted building codes back at that time. Since that time, Architects no longer bear or even perform those duties and there is so many check-points and verification processes in place that Architects, Engineers, and even the Contractor and Building Department to check plans and spot errors or omissions long before there is even a hole dug in the ground for foundations and footings. We have all of these things in place and also a distribution of responsibility which used to be borne by one person.... THE ARCHITECT !!!! This isn't the same case so there is greatly a loss of the original context of health, safety, and welfare risks that was once the case a century ago. We now have codified standards for construction that if a person's designs meets those prescriptive standards, you almost never need a licensed/registered Architect for HSW reasons but we still require them. Licensed/Registered Architects don't even do half the stuff they used to do. It's passed off to the next guy. Now if Architects plans by virtue of seal outright were to bypass the permit process, I can see the need for licensure but then the Architect would need to be tested thoroughly in the building codes at the state to the level of a Building Official and Plan Reviewers for both Residential & Commercial and that of Building Inspectors because they would then have to take on the role of the building department and certify everything. I can see the title of Registered Architect or Licensed Architect if they took on that type of responsibility. Then the need and reason for these license and stamp would make sense and then yeah... I can see the 'entitled' attitude but you can be giving up responsibility after responsibility to other professionals and expect your own profession to retain the status of a licensed profession. At some point, you cut away one too many responsibilities by having those roles done by others before you no longer warrant being a licensed profession. The old argument of HSW risk and loss of life risk can't be that great when places like Sweden with comparable architecture to that of United States continues to practice architecture without requiring architectural licensing. It's not like in Sweden that architecture is built to a much lower standard and quality to that found in the U.S. Sweden isn't Haiti for crying out loud.

      RickB-Astoria

      Ok, I know there can be arguments made but anyone can make arguments from any point of view. How convincing would be key. Then at some point, it may just rely on who contributes the most money to the politicians.

      jla-x

      Architects comparing their work to doctors is sooo annoying.  The immediacy of life/death decisions that nurses and doctors face is on a whole other level... 

      Apr 4, 17 4:43 pm
      RickB-Astoria

      I agree because the only reason an Architect would have errors and omissions that their work results in great harm or death to occupants and public at large is the Architect put meeting some schedule over their duty to make sure their work was done properly and thoroughly to the professional standards. In vernacular, the Architect rushed their work to meet some schedule and compromised the professional standard of care in the performance of their work. 

      Volunteer

      You would think that the NAAB and the universities would be advocating for change. Doctors, lawyers, and engineers are all awarded a specific name which honors and celebrates their achievement in completing a professional school even though they are not fully qualified professionals. Every lay person understands that. I think all it would take would be for one state to change the laws and the dam would break.

      Apr 4, 17 5:05 pm
      jla-x

      Furthermore, as technology advances we are going to see less and less need for the more technical roles of architects.  Imagine a future BIM program that could run code checks, fire safety, and automatically engineer buildings for instance.  Possible "robo" stamp the plans virtually through a program that assumes Responsibility.  Thats a technology that may be more reliable than a human in the near future...If/when that is the case, the "designer" is almost certainly going to still have a job.  Until AI with a creative thinking ability comes around...that seems like a very distant future tech.   

      Apr 5, 17 12:47 pm
      RickB-Astoria

      Creative thinking is an emotional based thinking. It is impossible with digital computers even with the best A.I. because there is no emotions. An A.I. can simulate emotion but only to the extent that the computer programmers can put to make the A.I. feel more 'human'-like but it can't really attain the capacity to feel emotions as humans because humans are not digital computers. Digital computers are basically logic state machines. People are not because the human brain is far more sophisticated to process the emotive responses that programmers just can't match even if every programmer in the world was brought together to construct the programming of an A.I. powered by the most powerful digital supercomputer in the world and spent 50 years working 12 to 16 hours a day, 5 days a week work weeks. It just isn't going to happen because the nature of binary logic structure complexity would have to be extremely complex to fully achieve. One reason it would be about impossible is we don't even know how humans work to be able the synthesize an artificial human to be able to think to the creative level. Engineers are more easier to replace because the role of engineers are largely glorified mathematicians & multi-discipline scientist. Engineering sciences are the applications of mathematical science, chemistry, and physics (and maybe a little of biology) as they apply to buildings and structures and their infrastructural systems which may include fluids that draws into some element of chemistry. In some cases, engineering may involve some limited level of biology studies. Majority of engineering can be replaced by computers and for a large part, computers already are what does the work and the engineer is basically just a computer user affixing a stamp.

      jla-x

      I agree Rick. The software license itself may take the place of the stamp Required. I feel secure as a designer for a least 1000 years.

      RickB-Astoria

      Yeah. Same here.

      So what is an "AIA Intern 2", via Job board? Does that come from NCARB "Model Law"?

      Apr 6, 17 12:23 am
      RickB-Astoria

      Good question. Somehow I doubt the "AIA" part was but "Intern" may still exists in the model law document but it takes time for them to go through it and edit it but yeah, I can see that with NCARB supposedly dropping the Intern title that they should have already been working on that. Then again NCARB is a bureaucracy that Vogons can love.

      Nam, it comes from the AIA position titles used in their biannual compensation report. http://info.aia.org/salary/salary.aspx

      A new report is due to be released this year, it should be interesting to see if the AIA changes the titles to match the updated policy.

      Apr 6, 17 1:55 am

      Thanks Everyday!

      Apr 6, 17 11:43 am

      I'll actually applaud Ennead for using the 'AIA Intern 2' position title in their posting. It is very clear what they are looking for when they use it. 

      However, the problem with that posting is that they say they want an 'Intern 2' but then list "On-track for, or has current architectural registration." 'Intern 2' employees don't have their license. So what the post is telling me, as a hypothetical applicant, is that they want to pay me like an 'Intern 2' but they really want someone who could handle job responsibilities like an 'Architect 1.' The difference in salary, using the AIA calculator for the Middle Atlantic region, is on average (mean values) $22,300 between those two positions. The difference might be greater or smaller for NYC specific data. 

      Apr 6, 17 12:00 pm

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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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