As Architects we have professional bodies that are seemingly tasked with representing us and assuring our wellbeing. We pay fees to be represented by these bodies. They are our 'Unions'. They should be working to lobby central and devolved government for the betterment of the industry and their members. They should be working to identify and coordinate key strategies, within our control, to aid practices through times of recession and growth alike avoiding the cycle of boom and bust. They should be disseminating this information to their members. They should be striving to engage the wider public to increase awareness of the value of our profession's role within society.
These are all tasks that RIAS/RIBA and ARB have been charged with, but unlike their compatriots in other industries have systematically, categorically and continually failed at.
We now have a community of workers who are either afraid to voice their concerns for fear of repercussions, who have been forced to hunker down and look after their own interests or who have grown increasingly apathetic as the situation appears beyond repair and outwith their control.
The outcome is that we are building new schools, hospitals and leisure centres in significantly reduced quantities. We are not meeting with housing quotas, nor are we developing the industry with new technologies. We are no longer providing a realistic career path for millions of young people, and are running the risk of damaging the industry beyond repair.
Perhaps its time for fundamental reform…
To read more check out the March edition of Urban Realm or visit www.soapboxco-op.org</a>
[Soapbox Cooperative is a collective of workers within the architectural and design community]
[Soapbox Cooperative is a platform to raise challenging questions, and to discuss and debate creative ideas about the future of the industry]
[Soapbox Cooperative aims to release a series of critical written dialogues looking at a number of key issues within the architectural and construction industry, touching on economics, politics, societal evolution, role of architects and the future of the profession]