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Monday28 July 2014

Arb's problem is protecting title

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Imagine if the Ordine degli Architetti told Domus that it cannot refer to Norman Foster as an architect.

Renzo Piano

Source: Mark Allan

Renzo Piano, Architect of the Shard, is interviewed for the BBC Worldservice program, Dreambuilders at RIBA on Tuesday 12 June 2012.

The Italians are, of course, not that stupid. Nor were they so daft as to set up a board to protect “title” rather than “function” — Arb’s essential problem.

Yes, the board and its executive continue to conduct their affairs with breathtaking ineptitude and, yes, we would all be the better for its disbandment (News October 12), but the problem is, and has been for some 85 years, the insistence on protecting title not function.

That is why the “toothless” Arb has wasted around £25 million on chasing imposters rather than incompetents, and why the only
solution is to amend the act or scrap it. And those who negotiated protection of title at the inception of Arb, you should bow your heads in shame —you were warned.

Paul Hyett
RIBA past president

Top job

When doing some work for a church housing association, the general manager said: “Since God is the architect of all creation and never made a mistake, we will expect the same of you.”

In view of recent reports, I am most concerned to know whether God is registered with Arb and up to date with his fees.

David Sutcliffe
Welwyn Garden City

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