ANOTHER OPEN LETTER TO THE BUILDING DESIGN PROFESSIONS

PART DEUX

Okay I am refining my new building design professions paradigm. I have posted several times regarding the need for Interior Design to consider a new credential but the more I think about it the more it makes sense to turn the entire built environment realm on its head.

IT IS TIME TO COME OUT OF OUR INTELLECTUAL SILOS AND OUR PROFESSIONAL BUNKERS.

THE WORLD IS CHANGING- WE ARE NOT.

I have a dream that the AIA/NCARB, ASID/IIDA/NCIDQ/CIDA and all of the related M/E/P Professional Engineer Societies suddenly realized that we are stronger working together than defending what little professional turf we have left. In so doing we might be able to turn the tide of diminishing influence. Due to BIM technology this is happening to a certain extent on major projects but there is still a power struggle for overall control- we need to evolve into a large team with a flat ego structure.

OK That is a big “what if” but go with me here…….

Together we create one overall building design entity- don’t care what it is called- how about ABEP Association of Built Environment Professionals? Each would be licensed to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public within, and only within, their respective scope of specialization. This is who we are;

PROFESSIONAL DOMAIN

E=      Envelope

I=       Interior

S=       Site/Landscape

P=      Planning

M=     Air

E=      Power

W=     Water/Waste

S=       Structure

PROFESSIONAL STATUS

Student

Intern

Apprentice

Licensed Professional

 Now if you are still with me we need to reconsider how we divvy up the project types. This is what we do;

PROJECT TYPOLOGY (inspired by Architect Magazine)

WORK         From office to industrial to fast food..wherever people provide a service or make a product (IBC Occupation Types B, F, H, certain S and U)

BOND          From churches to nightclubs

LIVE             All residential types from single family to resorts to prisons (prisoners “live” too)

PLAY                        All sports from bowling to curling to open stadiums

LEARN        Self explanatory

HEAL           From birthing facilities to assisted living

PROCURE Any mercantile or facility where money is exchanged for a product or service

I realize there are many consultants that also serve the building design professions such as lighting designers, security, acoustics, voice/data/video I.T., etc. I would think that they could continue to work as consultants to the ABEP licensed professional teams noted above but they may want to create their own domain, “Professional Consultants” or some such thing.

The education/experience/examination paradigm established by each profession could be unified, branded and promoted. All of the intellectual and financial capitol currently being spent on defending our own little piece of the pie could be devoted to policing/monitoring and advancing the brand.

PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER does not have the resources to trademark/copyright this concept. But in 20 years I expect to be made an honorary fellow…er…F-ABEP-I.

3 thoughts on “ANOTHER OPEN LETTER TO THE BUILDING DESIGN PROFESSIONS

  1. PID- so many letters! I truly love the out of the box thinking, and agree the concept of the Building TEAM should be embraced, instead of the needless turf posturing that we seem to do now. I like the ABEP and then the designation ( I- for Interiors) , but not so sure we could embrace this plus the added typologies, and would recommend keeping our typical nomenclature like retail, hospitality, healthcare, office, etc. TOO much at once will make our collective heads spin. So, how would we test these professionals? What are the educational criteria? Would the term interior architecture finally be welcomed? So many questions. Change is hard, but I think a fellowship is in your future….

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  2. The exams currently in place would be incorporated into one credentialing arm of the association. Same for the educational criteria…..a lot of this is in place and working. We can make it better though. I am willing to give on the project types. I agree it is a big bite to chew.
    Thanks for the comment

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  3. I agree that it’s time to stop needlessly defending our “turf” and work together as Built Environment Professionals. I got a little lost with the project typology and agree that maybe that change could come a little later after the spinning stops! Thanks for the food for thought!

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