Architecture Rant

Architects moaning over ARB fees

Inspired by Mathew’s post, karma neutral, I’ve decided to offer a little more critique and voice an opinion rather than the usual ‘oh my god these images are amazing’ posts.

First on my list is Architects moaning. Now we bloody love to moan – subjects include, but not limited to; the world hates us, we don’t get enough recognition, Doctors earn more than us, it’s not like the old days, we don’t have a design champion, our voice is being diluted and so on.

So I was amazed to read a piece on the Architect’s Journal this week about the ARB throwing Architects off the register for not paying their fees. The title Architect is protected in the UK and you have to be on the register to use the title legally. Arguments about the role ARB plays vs RIBA aside, it’s clear that this is the only thing you need to do each year (and some CPD etc) to stay practicing. You know, doing your job still after all that studying and working your nuts off.

According to the board, almost six per cent of the UK’s 34,000 registered architects did not manage to cough up the £105 fee before the 31 December 2013 deadline.

The number marks a 57 per cent rise on the 1,300 architects booted off in 2013, and is equivalent to almost half the architects employed by AJ100 practices.

The tone of the article clearly implying that the ARB was being nasty and charging a fee for people missing the deadline. Then cue quotes from people who missed the payment and wanted a moan.

Fran Balaam of Pie Architecture, said: ‘The £65 charge is ridiculous. And for what? It’s costing more [to be reinstated] than when I joined first time.

You could have saved the £65 by paying it on time surely?

I’m reminded of the blog youhadonejob.org. The only thing you have to do was pay your fees and stay registered as an Architect. You get an email reminder too telling you to pay. But instead of phrasing the article as “Architect’s too lazy to pay professional fee to allow them to continue their job” it’s all “woe is me we’re put upon even our own professional body hates us”. The AJ weren’t the only one’s to take this angle. Please man up Architects. Anyone outside of the profession seeing this article would surely think we’d all lost the fucking plot and were a bunch of moaners.

And as Vinesh reminded me, you expect clients to pay you on time (and moan about that too) so why haven’t you paid your fees?