Like the good worker bee that i am I was working on an interior project for a mercantile project and a mech. shaft closure detail and over heard about a former teacher of mine is running an illegal practice. I'm not saying any names or anything,but it sounds like he is in HOT water with the local architect's and their having a meeting with code officials about the issue. The issue came up because he was called out on his "stamped" drawings and was so to speak (because they was signed and sealed by someone else when he was called out he said it was his partners' seal.....didn't work out so well).


So what do the people here on archinect think about these unlicensed professionals running successful architecture practices? How would you handle this situation if you were losing work to someone who isn't licensed?

Nov 26, 13 2:24 pm
Non Sequitur

Throw the book at him, complete with license suspension and a hefty fine. Make his name public so that future clients stay away. Also, add court fees on top.

At least that's how my board handles unlicensed practices.

Nov 26, 13 2:35 pm

la guillotina !

Nov 26, 13 2:42 pm

really non sequitur?  it's not just a sternly worded letter, politely asking him to stop representing himself as an architect?

can't take the license away from someone without a license.

Nov 26, 13 3:50 pm
Non Sequitur

Curt, where I practice (Ontario, Canada) you need both a license and certificate of practice to practice architecture on your own and stamp drawings for permit. If a licensed architect without a certificate is caught, more often than not, the license is suspended (one month usually for first offence) and a fee along with full disclosure to the public on the board's website.

I think they also force the person to retake the intern-level professional practice course before certificate is reissued. I read the court cases every once in a while.

Nov 26, 13 4:16 pm
Big difference between calling yourself an architect at a cocktail party and stealing someone's stamp.

The one I see most often is an unlicensed person using questionable language on their website. Some states (Texas) take this very seriously. Many others do not have the resources to punish these low level offenders.

What grinds my gears is when an unlicensed person pulls the crap that Anna klingmann is-a website calling herself an architect-and then advertising for free labor. When she does not hold a license in NY where she is based.
Nov 26, 13 5:49 pm

This guy sounds ready to teach Pro Practice!

Nov 26, 13 6:55 pm

Here we go again...

Nov 27, 13 2:23 am

You are an architect if you produce architecture.  The state is irrelevant.  

Nov 27, 13 2:29 am

So Ive been an architect since 3rd grade?! Sweet christmas! all those billable years :D

that is right jla - you are what are produced


where does that come from jla-x?  where i live, the state has a board of technical professions that bestows the title of 'architect' on people who meet their requirements.  if you're not registered as an architect with the board of technical professions, you're not an architect, and there are laws that govern a person's right to advertise services of an architect without having that registration with the state.

Nov 27, 13 7:54 am

I was told by local codes official "if you thumb through the code book, you are an architect" I said good enuf for me! were do I stamp?

Non Sequitur

jla-x, an architect is licensed, anyone else is a designer. Just because you can't complete licensing does not mean everyone else's professional credentials are annulled.

Nov 27, 13 8:10 am

Who cares if the guy is licensed or not...unlicensed "designers" are always going to get and complete work, that is just a reality.  

Some of these people will get into hot water with their local architects board, if they ever use the term architect or any variation on drawings or promotional materials; website, business cards, etc. 

unfortunately, the chances of getting caught are slim to none unless somebody rats them out which oftentimes is a disgruntled client or contractor.  Even if they do get caught it is usually just a minimal fee to pay, which means they are just going to do it again.

And as we all know, the term architect is one of the most bastardized professional titles around, but sounds awesome if you are janitor and you call your self a custodial architect.

People get what they pay for and I believe that a majority of these unlicensed designers holding themselves out as architects are hacks and ending up costing clients more money in the long run by not knowing what the fuck they are doing.  

It is the AIA and architecture board jobs to educate the consumer on these issues, the same way local contractors boards stress the importance of hiring a licensed contractor to complete work....If you just get some low budged hack on craigslist, chances are they are going to run your shit pipe up hill.

Nov 27, 13 8:56 am

Curtram, The word architect and its definition is much older than the states interpretation. 

"a person who designs buildings or ideas" 

The term "registered architect" or a "licensed architect" can be owned, but the term "architect" alone cannot regardless of what the state or the AIA or NCARB says.   

You cant support the idea of free market competition and the idea of professional protectionism.  I do not think that the state has the right to regulate the arts.  Architecture is an art imo.  The science part is covered already by engineers and codes.  The idea of the state being able to regulate any form of art is a violation of free speech.  The concern for public safety is often over exaggerated to justify protectionism.  I am more concerned with the low quality soul sucking resource sucking  shit scape that registered architects are littering the planet with.  

Nov 27, 13 4:39 pm

A license is no substitute for competence. The public safety issue is considerably more complex and goes back at least as far as Hammurabi.

And I'll take issue, as I have in the past, with architecture being an art.

Nov 27, 13 4:55 pm
Non Sequitur

Jla-x, no... seriously, tell us how you really feel.

Did you have a sip from Suri's cup recently?

Nov 27, 13 5:24 pm
Huh. If I left all the technical aspects to my engineers, my buildings would never function correctly. I think if you really think that architecture is just design and that the license is just a piece of paper, you have a lot to learn.
Nov 28, 13 5:21 pm

What i said Didn't come out right.  What I meant was that the most dangerous aspects of the design are already subject to some checks and balances.  Of course the architect is responsible for the technical stuff.  The functionality of the building is very important.  The function is the most important thing imo. Architecture is not art but it is an art and science.  Regardless of who designs the architecture it still must meet the bare minimum safety standards set by the code.  The state license is hurting and not helping architects in several ways.  It is also hurting the overall profession in many ways.  

Nov 29, 13 1:14 am

The Original Post mentioned this came to his attention through gossip? I would try hard to keep out of the mess unless you know people are at risk or a genuine fraud is taking place.  Sounds like people are on it like stink on poo so sit back and let others deal with it stay out of the fray as this is a small profession and you don't want to burn bridges that you may need latter on.

Gossip is toxic don't mess with it if you don't need to.

Peter N

Nov 29, 13 1:07 pm

Some one told me you sometimes give great advice Peter !

How is it hurting architects? The process of becoming a registered arch actually helped me be a better arch. I don't think you can judge unless you've been through the process. One can argue that the process is difficult and the rules could be better, but it would be tragic if there was no oversight.
Nov 29, 13 6:36 pm

Found out that BPF Design is in a lawsuit for running an illegal practice.

Jan 17, 14 6:05 pm
boy in a well

good worker bee, huh?

what else are you?

Jan 17, 14 6:34 pm

many things that are not illegal boy in a well

Jan 17, 14 8:34 pm

I guess this was a bad thread, but I keep hearing about it at the office and wanted to vent.

Jan 17, 14 9:10 pm

Their contribution to the built environment will be sorely missed. 

Jan 17, 14 9:14 pm

"Associate AIA"


Jan 17, 14 9:17 pm
They claim to have an arch on staff. Maybe he got grumpy about taking liability but not pay.
Jan 18, 14 1:35 pm
Saint in the City

"Their contribution to the built environment will be sorely missed."

Well played.

Jan 18, 14 2:02 pm

I was thinking about Brian and my former teacher Mr. Peacock and I wondering why couldn't Mr. peacock become Brian's IDP Coordinator and get him thru the IDP? I mean he has work I'm sure and Dallas can sign off on his hours can't he?

Jan 19, 14 8:10 am
Because for IDP, you have to actually work for the person who is signing off.
Jan 19, 14 9:45 am

You give zero fucks and move along. It is a misdemeanor most likely. 

Jan 20, 14 2:02 am
north east

Came across with his article...

He is in jail?

Apr 25, 17 2:12 pm
Non Sequitur

Blast from the past discussion!

Apr 25, 17 2:29 pm

No that is not brian, He looks a lot different 

Apr 25, 17 3:26 pm

O and this might be a great opportunity for me to show you guys an updated version of my website. I did not change anything other than the grammer...hehe..


Architectural Visualization and Architectural Drafting Services


Gilbert Design








April 25, 2017







Hello, I am promoting visualization and architectural drafting services today and I would like to work for your company. Gilbert Design is a architectural visualization company based in FL and I am currently looking for projects with professionals in need of architectural visualization services. I have many years of experience in many different software including Revit, AutoCAD, and sketch-up. I do renderings of commercial and residential buildings at competitive prices and in very high detail. I am capable of creating animations, still renderings, and I can draft projects in Revit and AutoCAD. I will send a proposal for rendering prices if you are interested. A link to my website to see what I can offer your company is at the bottom of this email hope to hear from you soon.  









Any advice for a failing over educated draftsman....:(

Apr 25, 17 3:28 pm

Advice: Stop referring to yourself as a failing blah blah blah draftsman. Stop degrading yourself would be a start. 

Apr 25, 17 4:11 pm

Agreed. Good point Rick. If you cant show Confidence no one will hire you or pay for your service. Its a huge red flag.




Well I have to admit that is a lot better than the first time I posted it.

Apr 25, 17 4:24 pm

I'd stay out of it.

It's kind of not your business since you've just overheard these things and have no way of verifying anything. No one has asked your opinion on the matter. Seems like you want to involve yourself, but if I were you I'd stay away.  

If you feel like someone is doing a better job of winning project you can focus on building up your own practice. Time better spent. 

Apr 26, 17 8:23 am

I wish people would just stay out of my problems...yeah right he will be tested and re-tested and everyone around him will judge.

Wood Guy

MyDream, attention to detail matters for the services you are offering, so I would use the correct spelling and capitalization for SketchUp. I would also eliminate the "many years of experience" phrase because everyone knows that just means you have a few years but not enough to quantify. Just say "I have experience..." Or say "I am an expert using..." Or, if you have 10+ years, then you can brag about it.

Apr 26, 17 9:27 am
On the fence

Established 2016ish


Not true I was not going full throttle till last feb. Since then I managed to only get one architectural visualization project and a TON of leads that just fizzled out. I have some more marketing strategies, but require money to join and I am in a tight situation.


Thanks Wood Guy I will try to do what you said.


money hungry licensing associations.. first they make you pass your licensing examination, then you gotta pay fees to stamp drawings or else they suspend you xD

Apr 26, 17 4:28 pm

So according to your logic ......... Frank Lloyd Wright was not a real architect.  Your type of bureaucratic, nose-in-everyone-else's-business, "need more government regulations" type is why our country has become a cesspool of corporations with "licenses, fees, tags, taxes and title excluded" and an entire populace strung out on drugs and cranked over a barrel screaming " Hallelujah praise to Jesus we need more lube !!! "

Thanks for a continent to despoil and poison. 

Thanks for Indians to provide a modicum of challenge and danger. 

Thanks for vast herds of bison to kill and skin, 
leaving the carcasses to rot.

Thanks for bounties on wolves and coyotes. 

Thanks for the American dream,
To vulgarize and falsify, 
until the bare lies shine through. 

-William Seward Burroughs

Apr 28, 17 10:28 am

Found the Libertarian.


lol.....I watch ken burns FLW movie over and over trying to learn how he was able to attract wealthy clients. I know he only finished a year of university and became the greatest architect in the world. At the time I posted this I was very much still blinded by the bullshit of licensing and such and was very motivated to finishing arch school. Since that time the real world has hit me and I myself am looking for "residential only" projects with not much success. At this point in my life I could care less about licensing and I care more about finding some kind of employment.


MyDream, Don't worry so much about licensing but it can be useful to be licensed in places if you want to do stuff or have access to do stuff that requires a license. A license is not a substitute for knowledge & skills. Procuring work can be a challenge and has been. I wish you best, though.


Thanks Rick and the same to you

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