Readers react to AIA’s statement on removing licensing requirements

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Readers react to AIA’s statement on removing licensing requirements


The AIA has publicly denounced the decision of some states to remove licensure requirements for architects, a move that left some of our readers feeling rather verklempt. When the news broke last month, our comments section hosted a healthy confab on the issue.

And dear readers, we hear you! While the debate brews on, here’s a well-rounded takeaway of what has been said thus far:

“Would you like to have an unregistered doctor? On the other hand removing the costly grip of NCARB would be a positive thing,” admitted Caleb Crawford.

Erin Walker agreed the licensing process was necessary, but ultimately the tests were are a ploy to make money, not test knowledge: “There should be a practice requirement for people holding roles on state boards, and NCARB. It seems that a lot of these people are just trying to catch a gravy train and have lost touch with doing any actual work.”

“I’d really like to see examples of how the licensing requirements have changed,” fumed Bryan Wick.

But Matthew Harmon had an another take on how to solve the problem: “A better idea would be to require prospective architects to actually build something. In my view, designing a building without an understanding of how it gets built is irresponsible, economically, socially, and from an environmental standpoint.”

Meanwhile, Conrad Skinner felt that the whole process was unnecessary and demeaning, considering that codes dictated best practices and that students at accredited schools were already tested in all major areas: “There is an element of sadism in the architectural credential process. For how long should a person who is good at architecture, or any art, have to prove over and over to bureaucrats that they are worthy of practicing?”

On the other hand, Edward Casagrande argued that education- and technology-based curriculums were the real problem: “The need to edify the human spirit has been sacrificed to CAD, tech templates and an arrogant disregard and disrespect to the belief that ‘Architecture is the mother of all arts.'”

“The idea that Architecture is undervalued comes from a lack of public awareness about what an Architect actually gives them. This I fault the AIA for,” quipped an unapologetic Zach Hicks.  

Be that as it may, Michael Curtis left us with a simple truth: “Was Michelangelo licensed? Bernini?”

Is the AIA “fight(ing) any effort to minimize the requirements for professional licensure in architecture?” Have your say in the comments.