Wednesday23 August 2017

Arb says BD cannot call Piano an ‘architect’

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Body says Italian designer of London’s Shard and other foreign architects are ‘not entitled to be described as such’

Renzo Piano

Renzo Piano

The Architects Registration Board this week asked that Renzo Piano and Daniel Libeskind must no longer be referred to as architects.

In an email sent to BD, Arb cited three articles published on bdonline, including one referring to Piano as architect of the Shard and another about a new project by Libeskind in Hong Kong.

The email said: “All three articles make reference to either Mr Renzo Piano or Mr Daniel Libskind [sic] as ‘architects’, however, as they are not registered with the Arb they are not entitled to be described as such.

“In the light of BD’s readership I would ask that you avoid referring to Mr Piano and Mr Libskind as ‘architect’s [sic] in any future publications.”

Simon Howard, Arb’s professional standards manager, said the matter had been brought to the body’s attention by a UK architect, prompting it to take action.

“He [Piano] has not committed an offence because he hasn’t referred to himself as an architect. He certainly couldn’t use that word to describe himself here,” Howard told BD.

He added that it was “OK to call Piano an Italian architect” and that the Arb is asking “BD to be careful with the use of the word”.

BD editor in chief Amanda Baillieu responded: “We note Arb’s request but we won’t be complying with it. As far as BD is concerned Renzo Piano is an architect and that is how we will continue to refer to him.”


Readers' comments (83)

  • Glad to see the increased retention fee is being put to good use. Surely the readership of the BD is capable of discerning for theirselves whether an 'architect' is in fact an 'overseas architect'. Or more to the point, if the building is worth featuring, who cares?! Amanda Baillieu, as ever, a rare beacon of common sense in the milieu of the architectural publishing world.....

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  • zecks_marquise

    This kind of stupidity should not be tolerated. Everyone, it's time for a Spartacus moment: Do not renew your 2013 ARB membership. What exactly could they do if 33,000 Architects protested in unison?

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  • Scott Dale

    I've just done a quick Google image search and in none of them is he pictured wearing a black polo-neck. Maybe ARB are on to something!

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  • Of course they are architects... what nonsense! BD should take no notice whatsoever.

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  • Is the reason we're paying an extra £20 this year to ARB in order to fund this kind of nonsense? Makes it all worthwhile.

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  • Architect
    Noun: A person who designs buildings and often supervises their construction.
    Verb: Design and make.
    Synonyms: Creator - builder
    Examples: Renzo Piano, Daniel Libskind

    Proper Noun: Fools, Jobsworths
    Verb: To irritate, to belittle, to miss the point entirely
    Synonyms: Trouble-makers, Busy-bodies

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  • @ Alex, couldn't put it better my self!

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  • And we wonder why the general public don't take architecture seriously. I mean 'Really?!'

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  • casual observer

    So that's where the fee to ARB goes ...

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  • Is ARB taking a piss? This is the most absurd thing I ever heard. Do they have copyright on the word 'architect' now?

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