|Architecture is receiving more media coverage of late. Spurned on by controversies such as the East Circular Quay project, or massive infrastructure developments such as Federation Square in Melbourne or the Olympics in Sydney, the word ‘architect’ is appearing more frequently in headlines and news copy. It is helped, no doubt, by an increased effort on behalf of the RAIA to raise architecture’s profile.
There are many challenges still facing us. Increasingly, for instance, questions are being asked as to the value of using an architect when "…someone else can do that for half the price." For challenges such as these to be properly combated, we must become inspired and involved. Whilst increased media attention is encouraging, we need to use this exposure to highlight the benefits of good architecture to our local communities.
We must promote that we are a ‘Profession’. This term describes more than simply a vocation, it describes our role in society.
The Australian Council of Professions recently defined a profession as "…a disciplined group of individuals who adhere to ethical standards and uphold themselves to, and are accepted by, the public as possessing special knowledge and skills in a widely recognised body of learning derived from research and education and training at a high level, and who are prepared to exercise this knowledge and these skills in the interest of others."
We, as architects, have been entrusted by the public with the responsibility to design and construct their most immediate environment, the built environment. This is where we spend most of our time. It’s quality shapes all of our lives.
This fundamental role that our profession plays is not always recognised by governments or by the community. Yet it is perhaps our greatest strength.
It is important that you-Australia’s architects-sell this worth to the public, the community, to your local council and to your local member and become involved in your immediate environment.
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A preview of the August 2018 issue of Landscape Architecture Australia.