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So what can you do between a degree and a license, this kind of limbo is tricky and varies state by state.
In Illinois Architecture and the practice of is a title act and so you cannot call yourself and architect, we have several court actions against the IT industry from the secretary of state on this issue.
First as a generic rule you are restricted from doing public buildings, schools hospitals, homeless shelters, shops, cafes, restaurants, public restrooms, churches, offices. Any place a member of the public may wonder in and be at risk of a faulty design or construction.
So in Illinois where I live the unlicensed designers can do single family residences up to 2,000 SF (this may be more but under this size is definitely a go) under three stories and if the local city or county has no ordinance requiring an architect or engineer, you can do landscapes, you can do furniture layouts for residential commercial and office spaces but again local rules may vary on this and permit reviews may be ore expensive. You can work on duplexes but more than three housing units and that is a no go. Repairs and replacements are also possible but for instance in Champaign Illinois awnings on commercial buildings need an engineer or architects stamp if they are altered repaired or replaced. Non licensed designers can design signs for new developments, business. Furniture, you can do a lot of custom commercial work if all your dealing with is furniture that it is not bolted down wired in, but again check local rules in many Illinois cities if the business has a liquor license the furniture layout has to be approved by a licensed architect or interior designer.
I would look around and find a few local firms that will let you land a project and contract with you to do the work before looking for clients, some firms may even set up a 1099 contract with you for bringing in work, but ask before jumping in on a project.
I don't think the US prohibits the Architect from being a GC, Developer and the Architect of record. I worked for a firm that was set up that way. The architect had a real-estate license but I think it is not prohibited just not common in the US. This was a tiny firm and half of the work was for in house clients set up as GC developer and Architect.
IDP is a hurdle so is NAAB for not letting more universities start 5 year programs and recently only allowing 4+2. Southern Illinois University was the last 5 year program accredited. But I think IDP and NCARB who runs the program realize there is a problem, that it is dysfunctional and will hurt the profession by steering talented and honest professionals into other industries or other parts of the construction industry. The system works well in boon times and seizes up in a recession creating gaps in professionals obtaining their credentials and being able to keep a foot hold in the industry. They have done a few things to reform the system but change is hard since it involves the legislatures of each state and territory and so any changes are hard to execute and need to be long term not reactionary.
Are you asking about stamping drawings because you are trying to freelance?
Are you in the IDP purgatory many of us find ourselves in where we are frozen or moving at a glacial pace?
There are ways around some of the IDP hurdles but they are slow and don’t pay the bills or worse cost money.
Step one is find a mentor who is willing to work with you to get you through IDP, then set up a plan, read the NCARB website and IDP guidelines and take advantage of every opportunity to earn hours. Even 15 minutes here and there can add up. Architectural record has these quizzes at the back of each edition they earn IDP points and they are available in most public libraries, community service you don’t have to have a job to earn these hours.
Of course having a job makes it easy to get a lot of IDP done but even gainfully employed folks working for years have problems getting all the experience categories done.
Over and OUT
it is possible that a bank or construction lender may not want the architect and GC to be one and the same for a particular project, but certainly not illegal
Each state may differ but in New York, it is not permitted to be the Architect and Contractor. You could end up receiving some type of disciplinary action. I personally don't agree with it but I have questioned the state board of Architects numerous times about it. It is a conflict of interest though.
well in ny you can't buy a soda bigger than 16oz. NY (my home city) is ridiculously over regulated when it come to small timers but wall street and lipa can run a muck....Most places in the US allow for non-registrants to design anything in the single family realm and some commercial. Ny and a few others have limits or bans. Interior designers even need a license...yeah they are really protecting the public....Licensure indusrial complex much. Times like this I wish Ron Paul was in charge.
ny is a strange place i guess
Nomad, I love your suggestions for IDP. You make it sound like what we used to call 'gold farming' in old school video games. Nowadays, you can hire some guy in Indonesia to farm your gold for you. How long before I can do the same for IDP?
@REALARCHITECT, having once worked for an Architect Builder in New York I can tell you that you are 100% wrong.
IDP is a sham. Nothing more than a way to keep competition down. The problem with it is that people have to rely on future competitors to gain license. Employers have no incentive. Hmmm help this guy get a license so he can take my clients or keep him as a life long intern and pay him crap. What we need is a arch. intern union.
IDP= internally designed protectionism
going back to the question of stamping drawings, as was mentioned before design architect firms could complete the design, and if out of a jurisdiction a licensed architect, would be hired on to review and if drawing set meets code, the drawings will be stamped, now keep in mind that the architect doing the stamping has tons of very costly insurance, so there is a lot more to it financially not as simple as just having a license.
It makes no sense that architects cannot stamp drawings. If the state trusts them to protect the public, then why is their integrity in question when checking and stamping the drawing of an unlicensed designer. If they are worthy of their license, and if the license really guarantees integrity, then why assume that they would just stamp away without checking and act unethically. What stops them from not checking they drawings of their employees? If they are not trusted to check and stamp a drawing (like many engineers do) then the license itself means nothing.
If the process of idp and testing is really all its cracked up to be then why do we even question the integrity of those holding the license. If the stamper agrees to stamp, he/she is taking on a liability, and I would doubt that anyone would just run a stamping mill and get away with it for too long without being sued.
Another dumb architecture rule designed to keep competition low.....
Equating process to product.
Just when I think you're getting smarter jl, I realize that I'm just doing too much cough syrup..
also, design is not like medicine or law where the professional is immediatly and directly able to endanger the public. We produce "stuff" that is just paper until it gets the ok to be built. There are checks and balances already in place like codes, inspections, engineering.....That must be met before the building is built and has any chance of putting the public at risk. Stamping would be a professional check point. What is the difference who designs it as long as a professional is checking it over. If it is no good then they won't ok it. If anything, I would think that this would be an even safer process. Architects would be able to focus 100% on public safty and sub contract the design work out. They could focus more on energy modeling, code compliance, project management, embodied energy of materials and act as an unbiased 3rd party check......I am sure that many firms would find a new nitch in this arena. And if they want to be a design firm than they can as well.....
@ Noah, you should call the state board of architects or even the aia before running your mouth about things you assume
@ jla-x, anyone can claim to be an interior designer in ny, their certification is not protected and in my opinion a truly useless title. The problem with ny is that there is a lot of legislation but not enough enforcement.
Reading between the lines, I'm starting to think licensure is really an ego thing...
Architects gave up on the “better design” argument a long time ago, and the public safety argument doesn't really work either, because in practice, that's that's job of the guy handing out building permits. So what you've got left is “I'm better than all those unlicensed architects”, which is why the word architect must be protected at all cost, because only people as great as me are allowed to use it. This kind of arrogance is why the reputation of architects is so awful outside the profession.
It's disrespect for the license that ruins the profession. Licensure is not an "ego" thing, that perspective is laughable. It's shameful how little people know about the practice of this profession. First of all, the building department is NOT responsible for correcting or even assuring that a building complies with the code, that is the Architect's job. They are a backup, they are simply an extra set of eyes looking over the plans, they are NOT responsible for errors. Thinking that they absolve the Architect of that responsibility and therefore the license isn't worth having is just plain ignorant. Second, you wouldn't go to an unlicensed doctor simply because he claims that he's just as good. So what good is a license? Hmmmmm, maybe because that's the only way the public could know who is and who isn't REALLY qualified. Wow, I'm really surprised at how many people on this forum are condemning "licensed" Architects for being licensed. My guess is that it's out of jealousy. They say those who can't teach, but apparently those who can't also bitch about it. Open a book and study, take the test, pass and you could join all of us "egomaniacs". Until then you're just a naive little child with half an education.
If the law in your area requires a license, then by all means get one, I'm comdenming the attitude of architects like yourself who defend a licensure process that often makes no sense. The only reason to do that is, again, it's an ego thing. Permit departments will not approve plans that do not follow the building code, so yes, the responsibility lies with them.
Keep this up, and architects are going to get kicked out of commercial construction, too. Who really wants to deal with a guy who thinks you're a “uneducated child” for disagreeing with him?
All these theoretical discussions are valid and helpful, but does anyone actually have an answer to the question that was posed? I'm a registered architect in several states. I have done work for close associates who have successful practices in a foreign country for a retail business. Eventually they are asked by the retail client to do the same type of project here in the US, which is where I come in. I just want to know what others in this position have charged these associates to be the architect of record. I've been charging $10,000 pr project, regardless of size. I do spend considerable time reviewing the drawings for my own peace of mind. Again, just want to know what others are charging. Thanks!!
Permit departments miss things all the time, so the persons getting sued when a balcony collapses or when people suffocate in a fire because the wrong kind of lock set was installed on a fire door are the designers, rarely has any municipality ever been held liable for design errors even fatal ones.
I think too many aspiring architects have not had a complete picture of real architectural practice given to them in their education.
xian, right on! The license process is the main problem.
No other profession mandates internship without providing some kind of regulation on the employer, or providing a clear path from the university like a residency. IDP is a dumb mix of state mandates, a monopoly licensing system called ncarb, and private business. The system puts an unnecessary burden on the firm and on the intern. The only beneficiary is ncarb. In this down economy many licensed architects simply do not understand how difficult it is to fulfill idp. It is hard enough to just get a job, let alone find a firm that will give you the wide exposure that one needs to complete all the idp requirements. Despite all the hurdles, the US still looks like a shitty stripmall designed by the real housewifes of LA. Public safety? what about the side effects of designing an energy sucking shitscape on the future generations. What about the the fact that most buildings are soul sucking styrofoam shit boxes that make me want to punch myself in the nuts. Door knobs? come on man, is that what its come to? I don't need 7 years of idp to figure out what door knobs to use. Maybe if we focused on what qualifies as architecture rather than who qualifies as an architect, we would be in better shape.
Anyway, if we are going to play it by the book, then lets be fair.
We must stop refering to bramante, scarpa, michealangelo......as architects until they rise from the dead and complete idp.
I'm not really buying that there is some benefit in placing all the responsibility for safety codes on the architect, I mean it's not like we have a huge amount of money to pay for lawsuits, anyway. The reason all this responsibility is placed on architects is because the licensure process needs to justify it's existence, so architects spend years memorizing building codes instead of, well, actually designing.
“Architects spend years memorizing building codes instead of, well, actually designing”
This statement is one that I often hear from the theory based educated “designers” out there who have rarely designed anything of utility outside of a computer or sketchbook. Codes are restraints, parameters that have to be met, this distinguishes art from design. Art has no arbitrary limits like design has such as budget, materials, safety and many others.
The fact is the built environment is deadly serious business. Each and every code we work with is the result of human suffering, death, or other injustice. Without codes and competent individuals who can design a building within their parameters the built world would be dangerous, impossible for persons with disabilities, and probably unpleasant to live in.
I don’t think an anarchist approach to the design profession will help solve anything, people want some assurance that when they step into a building for their groceries, or to visit a doctor or whatever that they will not be killed or prevented from going in because of their abilities.
IDP and the ARE serve as filters keeping people who are not ready for the risk and the responsibilities from potentially doing harm. Most of us are careful and diligent, but there are those few who are not, and that is why things are so strict. So when an architect fails they pay with their insurance, their license, and even jail time, this is why stamping work is such a thorny issue. You have to understand the cost and the risk before passing judgment on the whole system.
10K per project may be too little, maybe ask your insurance provider what they perceive the liability for your firm would be for each project or project type and charge the needed insurance surcharge and then a percentage or flat fee before stamping, also consult your insurance provider because this work may not be covered and then you are personally on the hook. Stamping outside work is often a good way to void your E&O insurance.
IDP and the ARE serve as filters keeping people who are not ready for the risk and the responsibilities from potentially doing harm.
Peter, you sound like a republican. IDP weeds out people who cannot afford to move from city to city job to job to fulfill idp. IDP weeds out older grads who have kids and other financial responsibilities. IDP favors privilage over hard work and talent.
wow, unbelievable. xian and jla-x, you both obviously have little to no experience. You obviously don't have licenses, and you're probably both fresh out of school. You don't have a clue what this profession is about. jla-x you remind me of those students who thought they were hip, edgy and artistic. You have this self image that is completely unfounded and you were probably like so many others I went to school with who shoved a piece of copper into a lump of clay just to be different and saw it as "visual poetry". Even when I was a professor I thought it was a joke, these types of students have no sense of function or logic, and Peter is 100% right that the distinction between art and design is that art has no bounds and design is confined by rules and takes into consideration other aspects of a project. Having no respect for anything outside of what you want to do and what you think is cool is irresponsible, immature and negligent. I have always laughed to myself, because practically non of you end up becoming actual Architects, and most of you end up working in coffee houses. If you think the process doesn't make sense then that says a lot about you, you're bitter, unqualified and jealous. There is no point in defending the process or anything else to the likes of you, it was developed by people who are older, better educated, more experienced and more intelligent than you. Trust me when I say that you'll ALWAYS be on the losing end of this argument.
My apologies to all of the professional people on here, I just couldn't read any more of this nonsense. They say a little knowledge is dangerous, and this is a prime example of that.
Realarchitect, you are way off haha. Your attitude exemplifies the problem in this profession, maintain the status quo at any expense, deny logic, ignore anyone of a lower cast...... Go outside and look at all the crap that makes up 99% of the American built environment and then ask yourself if IDP is weeding out the less worthy. Maybe if you listened to people with a different perspective you would be able to help move the profession in a better direction. Instead, you hide behind your badge and claim to be superior when you don't even know me. I would go on, but your post says it for itself..
Even when I was a professor I thought it was a joke, these types of students have no sense of function or logic
ha, you must be a great teacher.
I would go on, but your post says it for itself
really? well then what do your posts say:
May 10, 12
I have been told that "your work is great, but you need to get rid of the beard", I replied by saying " It usually dosen't get in the way when I am working, and anyway where would I keep my pencils?" The guy looked at me and kinda laughed but I could tell he was annoyed that I didn't bow down and say sure I will.
I can't wait to get a job and then after I am hired roll my sleeves up and reveal my heavily inked arms. HEHEHE I gotcya.
Enough said, please enlighten us with your infinite wisdom, and show us all where we went wrong oh wise one, hahahaha
I don't know what that has to do with anything. Why should I be judged by my neatly trimmed beard? I was wearing a suit and tie. What does facial hair have to do with architecture? Why would a beard get in the way of architecting? I just have little tolerance for narrow minded a-holes on power trips.
I don't see how you could be hostile about my above posts. Nothing inflamatory at all. Do you listen to your clients or do you just tell them they are not arcitects so they are idiots?
Wow... go eat some turkey and chill out son.
“Go outside and look at all the crap that makes up 99% of the American built environment and then ask yourself if IDP is weeding out the less worthy.”
JLA-X, you may have almost revealed to everyone here the problem in architecture and that anyone has the right to be a client. We have no IDP for clients. If someone wants a pink Barbie castle, and they have the means they will find someone to produce such a thing. Clients are responsible for the built environment, without a client you have no buildings. Architects have a responsibility to advise clients and to persuade them to follow sensible design advice, but if the folks with the money don’t see the value in a cutting edge state of the art building when all they need is a factory or an inexpensive building to accommodate their activities or the activities of their clients (meta Clients) then it all falls to the architect to sell design and to pry that money out of the clients hands and spend it on what we think is best for them.
The reason many buildings are kind of sad to look at is we had clients who did not care or architects who could not persuade their clients, or some combination.
And so we find ourselves faced with a problem, Architecture has licenses, each state can remove a professional for being a scoundrel and they often do. We architects and Intern architects aspire to be design professionals held in a high level of esteem. I think architects and Engineers are highly regarded to folks outside of the construction profession. Stamping drawings may be a way to undermine that esteem and puts at risk the profession not just the person sealing and signing their name.
There are huge risk, so you have to be prepared to pay for those risk, but as a designer or intern architect you can still design things that could change the built environment, and until you earn the right and privilege to be an architect, you will have to find a firm or two who is willing to work with you when you land a client and have work to do. But let me warn you all do not promise what is not yours to give, and do not start work on projects that are beyond your legal abilities for which you intend to get paid. Just don’t do it you are setting yourself up for lawsuits fines and you may never get a license if you go too far.
I hope we all had a safe and happy thanksgiving and that all of us on this blog can find meaningful and gainful employment in the coming year, and or keep their employment in one fantastic and challenging profession.
there is no such thing as an "unlicensed architect" or an "unregistered architect" or any variation of the term. Your'e either an architect (licensed) or youre nothing. Pretty sure this is the case in most jurisdictions, know it is in NYS. Its sad that so many people dont know this.