Thursday, October 8, 2015

Rules and Regulations of the Trade

By ken Howder
Recently in our professional practice course, we were required to go through most of the rules and regulations for NCARB, AIA, and ASID. When it boils down to the basics, the rules basically state to not break the law, don’t bribe or be bribed, and to all around be a good person. After going through this assignment, I started to question, why do we need regulations for such basic acts such as these? Do we really need a code of conduct specifically for the architecture and design professions dictating us to be honest people and practice accordingly? The answer, I suppose – as the world we live in, is yes. These are the rules and regulations put in place for a reason. Such reasoning as to what kind of practice we need to uphold in order to legally maintain a status of registered architect, as well as lend our reputations to a certain and safe status.
However, at what time was it deemed necessary to enforce such regulations on the profession? In other words, I have become curious as to what horrendous acts have occurred that require the above basic-humane laws to be put in place.
Of course, it is an architect’s duty to maintain a sense of honesty within their practice. However, the laws and ethical conduct suggestions regarding the public seem to be of more importance to the profession. If one considers it, architects are capable of building massive machines that can, if not designed correctly, lead to the death of many - if not all - of its inhabitants. Such an act, if the architect was in the knowing of their wrong-doing, might compare to high degree criminal activity. Therefore, it is validly justifiable to regulate the profession in such a way as these organizations have.
If we believe some or any of these laws to be too strict or demanding, we can be thankful that we do not live in a country where the laws (and especially punishments) are much more severe. Although not in much conjunction with the NCARB stated laws of ethics, we can be thankful that we do not live in a country such as North Korea. Kim Jong-un expressed his dissatisfaction with the Pyongyang airport’s new terminal that had been built earlier this year, and allegedly had the architect executed for not adhering to the “party’s idea of architectural beauty that it is the life and soul and core in architecture to preserve the Juche character and national identity” ( on Kim Jong-un). So, I guess one way to think of the demands placed on us is: At least (hopefully) we will never be executed for designing a bad building.

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