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Architecture and shelter : the roles and responsibilities of architects in meeting basic needs 1992

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ARCHITECTURE AND SHELTER The Roles and Responsibilities of Architects in Meeting Basic Needs By Graeme Leslie Bristol B.A., The University of Western Ontario, 1973 B.Arch., The University of British Columbia, 1980 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ADVANCED STUDIES IN ARCHITECTURE in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (School of Architecture) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA APRIL 1992 ©Graeme Leslie Bristol In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. (Signature) Department of Architecture, Faculty of Graduate Studies The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date 30 APR 92 DE-6 (2/88) ABSTRACT^ ii ARCHITECTURE AND SHELTER The Roles and Responsibilities of Architects in Meeting Basic Needs This paper concerns the responsibility that the architectural profession has to the basic human needs of the society it serves. In order for the profession to meet these responsibilities - to shelter, to a healthy workplace, to a liveable city - it must change and enlarge the parameters of practice. It must also become more directly engaged in the ethics of the profession. The development of architecture, however, has led in quite another direction. As a result, practicing architects believe that their intended professional monopoly over the built environment has eroded considerably, while at the same time, the public views the profession as increasingly irrelevant to urgent social concerns. Because these social concerns are most compelling and ruinous in the Third World, this paper has focussed on the work that some architects have undertaken there. By examining their work in support of the development of communities in China and Southeast Asia, it is possible to extrapolate some common elements that suggest a way for practicing professionals to act responsibly in honouring the human right to shelter. The opportunities for responsible action involve architects working for government bodies, educational institutions, and in private practice. In this work, architects have had to respond often in non-traditional ways in working for Non- governmental organizations and community-based organizations. The non-traditional, or enabling ABSTRACT^ iii practitioner uses architecture as a tool towards the democratization of the built environment. For the profession to recover its relevance to society, these non- traditional tools and methods must become a more central part of the profession. Architecture, as well as the democratization process, has a role in the development of a sustainable future and it has a responsibility, as a profession, to use its resources to address the basic need of shelter in society and to honour the human rights derived from that basic need. TABLE OF CONTENTS^ iv TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT ^ TABLE OF CONTENTS ^  iv LIST OF FIGURES  ix ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ^  xi Chapter 1.1 1.2 1.3 1 INTRODUCTION PROBLEM STATEMENT ^ HYPOTHESIS ^ METHOD .1^Literature review .2^Field Study ^ .3^Analysis of data .4^Synthesis/Evaluation ^ 1 4 4 4 5 5 6 1.4 ORGANIZATION OF THE PAPER 6 PART I CONTEXT ^ 8 Chapter 2 THE TRADITION OF ARCHITECTURE ^ 10 2.1 HISTORICAL ^ 10 2.2 PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE ^ 16 2.3 THE CURRENT PROFESSION 24 .1^The Rise of Engineering ^ 24 .2^Legitimation of Architecture ^ 27 .3^The New Formalism ^ 30 2.4 THE BUSINESS OF ARCHITECTURE 33 .1^The Marketplace 33 .2^The Client ^ 36 .3^Scope of Services ^ 40 .4^Office Practice 42 2.5 THE PROFESSIONAL DILEMMA 45 Chapter 3 ARCHITECTURE & RIGHT ACTION ^ 51 3.1 THE ROLE OF THE ARCHITECT ^ 52 3.2 PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES 59 TABLE OF CONTENTS 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Chapter 4.1 4 BIRTH ^ .1^Inequity ^ .1^Foreign Aid and Debt ^ .2^Structural Adjustment .3^Environmental Degradation ^ .4^Development ^ .2^Basic Needs .3^Needs as Rights .1^The Concept of Rights ^ .2^Housing Rights ^ .3^Needs as Rights .4^Environmental Rights ^ .5^Responsibilities .6^Rights in Conflict .4^Distributive Justice .5^Responsibilities ^ KNOWLEDGE ^ .1^Use and Misuse of Knowledge ^ .1^Design ^ .2^Development .2^Triage .3^Triage in Architecture ^ .4^Knowledge and Resources Allocation ^ PROFESSION ^ .1^The Professional ^ .2^Professional Obligation in Society ^ .3^Obligations to the Profession ^ .4^Professional Responsibilities SELF RIGHT ACTION ^ .1^Denial .2^Inaction .3^Right Action .4^Right Action in Architecture ^ SELF-HELP AND ADVOCACY ^ SHELTER AND SELF-HELP ^ .1^Self-Help ^ .2^Sites and Services .1^Installment Construction ^ .2^Core Housing ^ .3^Roof Loans .4^Sites and Services ^ .5^Squatter Upgrading .3^Land Sharing ^ .4^Training Programs .5^Urban Homesteading ^ .6^Conflicts 66 68 69 73 76 78 81 82 83 84 85 88 89 91 94 97 100 101 101 103 109 114 117 118 119 119 123 125 125 130 132 133 133 137 139 142 145 149 149 150 150 152 154 155 157 159 162 TABLE OF CONTENTS^ vi 4.2 ADVOCACY AND THE DESIGN PROFESSION ^ 163 .1^The Barefoot Architect ^ 164 .2^Community Design ^  171 PART II^ARCHITECTURE AND DEVELOPMENT ^ 177 Chapter 5^ARCHITECTS IN GOVERNMENT ^ 181 5.1 THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT INSTITUTIONS IN HOUSING 181 5.2 INDONESIA ^  187 .1^Background ^  187 .1^Kampungs  188 .2^Kampung Conditons ^ 189 .3^Land tenure & Use  192 .4^Community Organizations ^ 193 .2^Policy Response ^  197 .3^Architectural Response ^ 198 .1 Kampung Improvement Program ^ 198 .2^Building Information Centre  208 5.3 THAILAND  209 .1^Background ^  209 .1^Housing Characteristics ^ 210 .2^Land Tenure ^  211 .2^Policy Response  212 .3^Architectural Response ^ 213 5.4 CONCLUSIONS ^  218 .1^Administration ^  219 .2^Distributive Justice  219 .3^Policy  220 Chapter 6^EDUCATION AND ARCHITECTS ^ 222 6.1 THE ROLE OF THE EDUCATION IN HOUSING ^ 222 .1^Education and the Profession  223 .2^Education and Community ^ 227 .3^CDC's as an Educational Tool ^ 230 .4^Applications of the Model  231 6.2 TSINGHUA UNIVERSITY - SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE 234 6.3 ASIAN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY ^ 244 6.4 KING MONGKUT INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY ^ 251 6.5 INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY IN BANDUNG  256 6.6 CONCLUSION ^  260 Chapter 7^ARCHITECTS AND NGO'S ^  262 7.1 NGOs AND DEVELOPMENT  263 .1^History ^  263 .2^Organizational Structure ^ 265 .3^NGOs and Architecture  266 TABLE OF CONTENTS vii 7.2 7.3 7.4 PART III Chapter 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 Chapter 9.1 9.2 9.3 8 9 GREAT EARTH RURAL DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION ^ .1^Site Specific Projects ^ .2^Training Programs BUILDING TOGETHER ^ .1^The Site .2^The Process CONCLUSION ^ A CHANGING ROLE ^ THE CANADIAN EXPERIENCE ^ THE HOUSING ENVIRONMENT ^ THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT IN HOUSING ^ .1^Federal Government .2^Provincial Government .3^Local Government ^ EDUCATION ^ .1^UBC Workshop and Studies Abroad ^ .1^Workshop .2^Studies Abroad ^ .2^CIDA sponsored programs .1^CUC-AIT ^ .2^Centre of Excellence ^ NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS .1^Self-Help in Canada ^ .1^Squatting .2^Self-Help .2^The Urban Design Centre .3^Downtown Eastside Residents Association ^ .4^StreetCity ^ .5^Frontiers Foundation ^ .6^Construyamos - The RAIC in Colombia ^ THE ROLE OF ARCHITECTS .1^Architects in Government ^ .2^Architects in Practice .3^Architectural Institutions ENABLING ARCHITECTURE ^ INSTITUTIONAL CHANGE ^ EDUCATIONAL CHANGE CHANGE IN PRACTICE .1^Requirements for Practice ^ .2^An Alternative Practice .3^Obstacles to the Team Approach ^ .4^The Shape of Practice .1^Types of Projects ^ .2^Client Group .3^Funding ^ 267 268 272 277 277 280 285 288 289 290 292 292 300 302 309 309 309 311 314 314 315 317 317 317 323 327 332 341 346 347 354 355 355 357 358 360 363 366 367 369 371 373 373 375 375 TABLE OF CONTENTS^ viii .5^Other Options ^  376 .1^Volunteering  376 .2^Third World Issues ^ 376 .3^Full-Time Commitment  377 9.4 CONCLUSION ^  378 BIBLIOGRAPHY APPENDICES Appendix A Appendix B Appendix C Appendix D Appendix E Appendix F Appendix G Appendix H Appendix I Appendix J Appendix K Appendix L Appendix M Appendix N Appendix 0 407 Scope of Architectural Services ^ 408 Hippocratic Oath ^  409 Code of Ethics - Engineers ^ 410 Code of Ethics - Architects  412 Experience Record Book - Examining Board, AIBC ^  416 Course Curriculum - UBC School of Architecture  418 Curriculum - Barefoot Architecture ^ 419 World Bank - KIP Design Criteria ^ 424 Building Information Centre (BIC) - pamphlets ^  427 Architects Act. ^  431 CCDC 2 - The Architect's Responsibilities in Construction Contracts ^  448 CCAC 6 - The Architect's Responsibilities to the Client ^ 449 "Linuh Bali" by Robi Sularto (Excerpts) ^  453 AIBC - Speaker's Bureau Brochure ^ 458 AIBC - Advisory Service Brochure ^ 460 379 LIST OF FIGURES ix Figure 2.1 Laugier's Engraving ^ 17 Figure 3.1 Asian Neighborhood Design SRO Furnishings  ^107 Figure 4.1 Installment Construction ^ 151 Figure 4.2 Core Housing Variation 151 Figure 5.1 Sample Plans - Kampung House ^ 191 Figure 5.2 Organizational Structure - Government of Jakarta ^ 194 Figure 5.3 Organizational Structure - Kelurahan ^ 195 Figure 5.4 Organizational Structure - LKMD(K) ^ 195 Figure 5.5 Kampung Selection Criteria ^ 200 Figure 5.6 Organization of Government Authority - KIP Project ^ 202 Figure 5.7 Consultant Organization ^ 203 Figure 5.8 Administrative Organization - Community Development Department ^ 215 Figure 6.1 Relationship of Theory to Practice ^ 226 Figure 6.2 Courtyard Inf ill ^ 235 Figure 6.3 Typical Apartment Block ^ 236 Figure 6.4 Student Model of Courtyard Scheme ^ 238 Figure 6.5 Land Use Planning - Ju'er Hutong ^ 239 Figure 6.6 New Courtyard Housing ^ 241 Figure 6.7 Plans of Pilot Project 242 Figure 6.8 AIT - Enrollment by Country and Division .245 Figure 6.9 AIT - HSD Tasks and Targets ^ 246 Figure 6.10 AIT - Urban Land & Housing Development Course Sequence   247 Figure 6.11a KMITN Presentation Drawings ^ 254 Figure 6.11b KMITN Presentation Drawings 255 Figure 6.12 Traditional 6-pole Building ^ 258 Figure 6.13 Plan & Perspective of 6-pole Building ^ 258 Figure 6.14 Existing 6-pole Building ^ 259 Figure 7.1 Water Town Bridges ^ 271 Figure 7.2 The Bridges of Zhouzhuang ^ 271 LIST OF FIGURES^ x Figure 7.3^Sample contents Town & Village Development ^ 273 Figure 7.4^Planning Principles - Town & Village Development ^  274 Figure 7.5^Construction Details - Town & Village Development  275 Figure 7.6^Building Together - Site Plan ^ 278 Figure 7.7^Building Together - House Plans ^ 279 Figure 7.8^AIT Demonstration House ^ 283 Figure 7.9^Building Together - Commercial Spine ^ 284 Figure 7.10^Building Together - Mural ^ 284 Figure 8.1^Downtown Vancouver Development Pressures  305 Figure 9.1^The Human Settlements Approach ^ 370 Figure 9.2^The Team Approach ^  370 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS^ xi I would like to acknowledge the generous assistance of the RAIC in providing their financial support for this research through their "Burwell Coon" Travel Award. The support of Dino Rapanos of the School of Architecture at UBC as well as David Hulchanski and Prod Laquian of the School of Community and Regional Planning at UBC is gratefully acknowledged as is the ongoing effort of Peter Smith and Kris Olds in reading and rereading versions of this document. I would also like to thank a number of people in many different countries who gave generously of their time during the course of this research: Bruce Etherington, Honolulu Jin Oubo, Beijing Chen Lijian, Vancouver Zeng Jian, Beijing Wu Liangyong, Beijing Qi Xuan, Beijing Wan-Ying Tsai, Shanghai Han Baoshan, Beijing Yang Changshou, Beijing Ruan Yi San, Shanghai Tao Ho, Hong Kong Peter K.W. Fong, Hong Kong Patrick Lau, Hong Kong Peter Bay Wong, Hong Kong Bill Keyes, Manila Mila Reforma, Manila Narin Sakul Clanuwat, BKK Thrasuk Intaraprasong, BKK Chadsri Bunnag, Bangkok Mohammad Danisworo, Jakarta Robi Sularto, Jakarta A. Yunadi, Jakarta Henri Dharmawan, Sanur Florian Steinberg, Jakarta Norton Ginsburg, Honolulu Mei Mei, Beijing Alfred Peng, Beijing Zhuaugyi Zheng, Beijing Lana Tang, Beijing Yang Xinyong, Beijing Aprodicio Laquian, Beijing Zhu Ming Liang, Beijing Luo Xiao-Wei, Shanghai Bao Jia-Sheng, Nanjing Lye Kum-Chew, Hong Kong Herbert Lau, Hong Kong Cecilia Chan Lai Wan, HK A.D. Hole, Hong Kong Romeo Ocampo, Manila Yap Kioe Sheng, Bangkok Koto Kanno, Bangkok Supak Ladavalaya, Bangkok Sukuman Tearprasut, Bangkok Darrundono, Jakarta Mohamed Nuch, Jakarta I. Made Sukadana, Denpasar Putu Darta, Sanur Qiu Jiang, Vancouver Finally, I would like to extend a special and most grateful acknowledgement to Marnie Tamaki and Barbara Bristol for their unconditional and ever-present support throughout this venture. 1. INTRODUCTION^ 1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION 1.1. PROBLEM STATEMENT The profession of architecture has been increasingly plagued by doubts about its role, both in society as a whole and within the industry specifically. By all appearances, the role of the architect, particularly in Western industrialized culture, is eroding. While they have tended to view themselves as stewards of the built environment, the volume of construction actually designed by architects seems to be diminishing. This fact, in and of itself, does not "necessarily mean that the society does not value architecture. It may also mean that architects no longer personify architecture." (Baniassad, 1988). This statement suggests that there may be a serious mismatch between that which society needs from the architect and that which the architect is able or willing to deliver. In this sense, architects can be seen to be abdicating their broader responsibilities to society in favour of the narrower responsibilities to their craft and profession.^Certainly there has been ample evidence that society is dissatisfied with the architecture that is produced in the name of the art. It is also true that those architects that continue to view their work as monuments to history, will have some of the grim realities of the present elude them. In 1987, the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless, we were shown the relentlessness of this grim reality - a reality that is no longer confined to the Third World. The 1. INTRODUCTION^ 2 Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC), at its annual conference that year, recognized first that it was an "intolerable and unacceptable situation" of crisis proportions and second that it was a problem to which architects should address their talents and energy, both in the developing world and in Canada. It was at this conference that we began to see an institutional shift in the perception of the role of architects in society and of the responsibility of the profession to society. One example of that shift was the RAIC-sponsored project in Colombia called Construyamos. This project gave some indication of the possible roles that architects might play in self-help housing and of the need for the training of para-professionals. The RAIC, with its continuing involvement in the self-help movement in Colombia through Construyamos, and its Inquiry on the Role of Architecture, has expressed a clear interest in the need for the exploration of alternative roles for the design professional. The American Institute of Architects (AIA), too, with its Vision 2000 document is examining the future role of architecture in society. Such investigations begin to address the broader responsibilities of architects to society's basic needs. Currently these basic needs are being met, in much of the world, without the aid of architects at all. Within the context of developing nations, self-help housing has often become the only alternative for the bottom quintile of society to gain any kind of shelter at all. Governments, strapped for cash, are ill-equipped to provide the capital required to meet the exploding needs of the urban poor. The expertise of design professionals has tended to be of little value in the informal sector of housing. Without money and without technical support, the urban poor have fended for themselves with debilitating effects, both on their own 1. INTRODUCTION^ 3 health and on the well-being of the urban fabric as a whole. In this activity, it is possible for the architect to be one of the agents of change, "a party to the process for self induced improvement in the overall quality of the life of people he strives to serve."(Dawes, 1987) Over the last twenty years, much has been written on community-initiated schemes and the bottom-up approach to the provision of housing. Very little of the literature, though, covers the role of design professionals in this process. This observation raises questions about that role. If it has not been covered in the literature, does that indicate that architects have no role in this growing area of housing supply? If there is a role, is it simply poorly defined or do architects feel no particular responsibility to address the issue? Is it a problem with which design professionals should be involved at all? It is argued here that the design professional has a responsibility of involvement in the provision of the basic need for shelter. This paper then reviews some of the available options for the delivery of housing that have been exercised by communities and professionals in other circumstances. These examples demonstrate how design professionals have been addressing their responsibilities. From this, a better understanding of the role that architects can and do play in housing and community development can be created. Out of this understanding it is possible to see Canadian practice from a different perspective out of which an alternative to Canadian practice can be outlined. Such an alternative is intended to provide a means by which architects can become 'a party to the process' and more effectively serve their community within the context of responsible action. 1. INTRODUCTION^ 4 1.2. HYPOTHESIS This paper will examine the following ideas: .1) that the profession of architecture, as a result of its history, has become progressively more limited in its scope and therefore in its service to the community. .2) that there is a personal and professional obligation on the part of architects to act responsibly in addressing the basic human need for shelter. .3) that work is being undertaken to meet these responsibilities in the Third World and that there is a relationship between this work and that which has been or could be undertaken in the First World. .4) that changes to the way in which both architects and society view the profession can better accommodate these relationships and responsibilities. 1.3. METHOD The methodology of the research has been divided into three parts: literature review, field study, and evaluation. .1) Literature review covered: a) the history of the profession. b) professional ethics and social responsibility. c)^the tradition of self-help in housing 1. INTRODUCTION^ 5 d) other housing alternatives - sites and services, 'builders yards', squatting. e) paraprofessionals in the field. f) the existing housing process in Thailand, Indonesia and Canada. g) training programs. .2) Field Study This portion of the research involved travelling to Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Hong Kong, Manila, Bangkok, Jakarta, Denpasar, Pengastulan, and Mexico City between 1989 and 1991. The field study involved: a) interviews with: professionals involved, paraprofessionals, students and faculty participants. The interviews were to determine: the level of community participation, the level of professional participation, the organization management & implementation of self-help, and the training requirements for field work. b) site visits to each project to describe: the nature of the project, the community motivation and participation, the support services provided to participants, the current state of the project, and the involvement of the design professional. .3) Analysis of data This portion of the work involved the development of a common thread between the historical information and the field study. 1. INTRODUCTION^ 6 .4) Synthesis/Evaluation From this information recommendations have been developed for: a) the practice of architecture in this field b) the additional training requirements for architects entering this field. c)^the applicability to architectural practice within Canada. 1.4. ORGANIZATION OF THE PAPER The paper is divided into nine chapters and three parts: Chapter 1 -^Introduction: sets the parameters of the work to follow and presents the questions to be addressed. PART I -^CONTEXT Chapter 2 -^The Architect in Practice: describes the tradition out of which alternatives can be evaluated. Chapter 3 -^The Role of Architecture: sets the ethical context from which these examples are meant to be viewed and considers the question of professional responsibilities to society. 1. INTRODUCTION^ 7 Chapter 4 -^Self Help and Advocacy: sets the historical context of housing delivery and the relationship between design professionals and housing for the poor. PART II -^ARCHITECTURE AND DEVELOPMENT Chapter 5 -^Government: the role of the design professional in government organizations. Chapter 6 -^Educational Institutions: the role of design professionals in the training of students and in the use of students in community development. Chapter 7 -^Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs): the role of design professionals in assisting NGOs in community development. PART III -^A CHANGING ROLE Chapter 8 -^Canada: comparative examples of work undertaken in Canada. Chapter 9 -^Conclusions: how can we achieve what needs to be done? PART I^ CONTEXT^ 8 PART I "The machinery of Society, profoundly out of gear, oscillates between an amelioration, of historical importance, and a catastrophe. The primordial instinct of every human being is to assure himself of a shelter. The various classes of workers in society to-day no longer have dwellings adapted to their needs; neither the artizan nor the intellectual. It is a question of building which is at the root of the social unrest of to-day: architecture or revolution." (Le Corbusier, [19601:14) These words, written in 1923, raised a number of issues with which the profession has been struggling since. Among them are the relationship between architecture and dwelling, and the role of architecture in motivating behaviour in society. In presenting a choice between architecture and revolution, Le Corbusier seemed to be suggesting that if we choose the path of architecture - which is to say, new architecture - we can avoid revolution - a revolution that would be ignited, in part, by substandard housing. The anticipated revolution failed to materialize. It is doubtful that architecture could claim any credit for averting that predicted event. However, the issues that Le Corbusier raised would not go away. Architects, before 1923 and since, have sought to better define the relationship between society and their profession. What is that relationship? What has it been and what could it be? Is there an alternative to be found in the profession that could allow it to take on a more fulfilling role in society? Part I of this paper considers that relationship first by reviewing the foundation out of which any options must be PART I^ CONTEXT^ 9 derived. Before we can look at alternatives to traditional architectural practice, it is important to provide a reference point. What is traditional practice? Following from that description, another series of questions become apparent. What would motivate the architectural profession to seek alternatives to traditional practice? What is wrong with the way we practice architecture now? For those that might accept that there is something wrong, there is still the question of the context for change. In other words, even if I see the need for some changes in professional practice, that may not motivate me to seek alternatives, or, even if it did, why this direction instead of that? Chapter 3 takes up some of these questions of motive. If we are suitably motivated to seek alternatives, it is not necessary that we create a completely new form of practice. Many people have been practicing architecture in a way that recognizes and responds to shelter inadequacies. The fourth chapter describes briefly this alternative tradition. PART I^2. THE TRADITION OF ARCHITECTURE^10 CHAPTER 2 THE TRADITION OF ARCHITECTURE "With the exception of engineering, architecture is more fully involved with technocratic and corporate elites than other professions, which creates unusual difficulties. One is ethical; a worthwhile objective in any profession is that it provides service to all clients, not just to the very rich and powerful. A second difficulty of its dependence on elites in the private sector is that architecture enjoys few of the legal and monopolistic protections accorded, for example, the health professions, which are closely bound to public and quasi-public sectors. (Blau, 1984:134) The difficulty that design professionals, and, in particular, architects have had in responding to the needs of communities is that their alliance has traditionally been with society's elites. For the architect, breaking through the barrier of either self-perceived or community-perceived isolation from the populace is difficult. That barrier exists, in part, as a result of our understanding of what it is that architects do and what it is we, as a society, think they do. It is a barrier that has developed out of the nature of the profession, both historically and since the development of the modern incarnation of the architectural profession. 2.1 HISTORICAL The difficulties described by Blau above are hardly recent manifestations for the profession. The concept of service PART I^2. THE TRADITION OF ARCHITECTURE^11 to society as well as the relative lack of monopolistic protection were issues that arose with the Renaissance, if not before. The practice of architecture has been marked by a continuing shift between theory and practice, between art and craft. At different stages of history one side will be more emphasized than the other and as a result builders, patrons as well as architects themselves will define the intellectual rigour of architecture in ways that reflect the prevailing convictions. With the shift in the use of materials from wood, mud, and brick to stone there was a new responsibility on the part of builders. The skills required were unprecedented and more highly specialized (Kostof, 1977:4). But, in addition to the skills of technique, there was another important responsibility that the first architects had to societies that had begun to shift from nomadic to a more settled, agrarian-based culture. Permanent homes had to be designed and built for deities. Who, though, would presume to know what it was that the gods would find amenable? In many ancient cultures the only direct conduit to the gods was the king. It was the king, then, that often took credit for the design of temples, regardless of who might have actually prepared and directed the work. The relationship, though, between the architect and the knowledge of the sacred was important. This relationship was more explicitly delineated in ancient Egyptian society. Here state architects had to consult archival information regarding the design of temples and public buildings in order to meet the divinely inspired instructions written by the prophets and the king. That these writings were made available to architects meant that they were tied closely to the secrets of the religion and had been educated in the interpretation of its sacred documents. This placed them in the company of kings and the PART I^2. THE TRADITION OF ARCHITECTURE^12 priesthood and, therefore, in a position of great power. It affiliated the architect with vision (in his understanding of the domestic needs of the gods), science (in his understanding of the structure and materials of building) and with crafts (in his understanding of the way in which materials come together). Each of these areas was associated with a deity. The Egyptian "House of Books" was associated with Seshat, science with Thot and Ptah with crafts. These three gods formed, ". . . a constellation that neatly scans the total scope of architecture, from pure theory on the one hand to the practical knowhow of construction on the other." (Kostof, 1977:6) Professionally designated as the 'master builder' or 'overseer of works', the architect was involved with architectural design theory (in his manipulation of geometry), with drawings (as instructions to labour) and with supervision of construction. Although there is little known of the level of supervision by the architect on the building site, or of the extent of the instructions delivered to the site by way of drawings and details, one can assume, from his elevated position in society, that the architect had little to do, either in education or in practice, with the hundreds of labourers engaged on a project. For the Greek architect, the designation architekton meant 'master-carpenter' rather than 'master-designer', a distinction that suggested the architect's educational background in the building crafts and in the supervision of the building projectl. Unlike the Egyptian architect, his 1. In Statesman 259d, it is stated that the architect is not a workman but the director of the work of others and that he provides the knowledge but not the manual labour. Unlike other theoretical pursuits, though, his work is not PART I^2. THE TRADITION OF ARCHITECTURE^13 Greek counterpart had little relationship with the occult (Kostof, 1977:25), although there was certainly a theoretical side to his education. In particular this concerned issues of ornamentation, proportion and the properties of the Orders. With less emphasis on the occult, the Greek architect was employed more broadly. Little distinction was made between engineering, architecture and city planning, so the architect was typically involved in all three areas. He could work as a consultant in receiving private commissions, as a salaried architect for the city or in an elected position as a state architect. In his capacity as a consultant, he would often work on private homes for the wealthy, although these kinds of commissions did not appear until the Hellenistic period (Coulton, 1977:17). The required versatility of the architect was cause for comment by Pythius in his Commentaries. As recorded by Vitruvius, Pythius "proposed that architects should show proficiency in 'all the arts and sciences' in contrast to practitioners of other professions who 'bring a single subject to the highest perfection'" (Kostof, 1977a:17) Vitruvius expanded on those generalist sentiments some four hundred years later in 27 B.C.: "He should be a man of letters, a skilful draughtsman, a mathematician, familiar with historical studies, a diligent student of philosophy, acquainted with music; not ignorant of medicine, learned in the responses of jurisconsults, familiar with astronomy and astronomical calculations." (1.1.3.) done when "he has delivered a verdict on the facts". The architect "must give the appropriate directions to each of the workmen and see that they complete the work assigned." PART I^2. THE TRADITION OF ARCHITECTURE^14 The Roman architect, too, worked in many fields. Vitruvius saw the profession as embracing "the whole artificial environment of man" (MacDonald, 1977:39). As a result the architect was involved in surveying, hydraulic engineering, and town planning as well as buildings. With the fall of the Roman Empire, the pendulum swung from theory to practice. There was a movement "from an intellectual pursuit that required a liberal education as a base, to an empirical skill that could be learned within the restricted compass of apprenticeship." (Kostof, 1977b:60) Because the 'master-builder' rose through the ranks of the building trades, his social status was changed but he was, nonetheless, still engaged in similar pursuits and required a theoretical grounding in geometry. Along with church programs, his commissions would include similar projects to those of the Greeks and Romans, that is, "palaces, wealthy homes, gardens, castles, military installations, and the design of cities." (Kostof, 1977b:76) In the fifteenth century, with the revival of Vitruvius and the new writings of Alberti, the pendulum again swung back to a Liberal Arts theoretical basis for the profession. Instead of the empirical approach of the medieval master builder, the architect again become the director of design. The architect, then, shifted away from a direct involvement in the building trades. This separation was deepened by "the introduction of a novel set of forms, based on the Classical remains" (Ettlinger, 1977:121). The master mason was familiar with a more traditional architectural language that arose out of patterns developed from many generations of experience in the field. Without the recourse to these traditional patterns, he was necessarily left to follow the instructions of the architect. PART I^2. THE TRADITION OF ARCHITECTURE^15 For Alberti this was as it should be. Architecture was separated from the crafts and "the architect was an artist whose activity had nothing to do with that of a craftsman." (Wilkinson, 1977:125) His book On the Art of Building, is quite explicit on this distinction: ". . . the carpenter is but an instrument in the hands of the architect. Him I consider the architect, who by sure and wonderful reason and method, knows both how to devise through his own mind and energy, and to realize by construction, whatever can be most beautifully fitted out for the noble needs of man . . ." (Alberti, [1988]:3) There resulted from this deliberate split accusations that the architect was no longer trained in technique and therefore was nothing more than a dilettante. This is a now familiar argument between the profession and the building trades, each accusing the other of incompetence, either in understanding theory or in building practice. In addition to the development of this new distinction between art and craft, Alberti saw architecture as central to a civil society. "For him humanism was not simply book learning or acquaintance with ancient monuments, but the application of all knowledge in the public interest." (Ettlinger, 1977:112) These two developments laid the foundation for the modern profession. The practice of the profession in history provided the basis for conflicts that continue into the modern profession - the conflict between art and craft, between theory and practice and, in particular, the conflict between specialization and generalization. The observation that Pythius made regarding the distinction between architecture and other, more specialized, professions is one that plagues the modern practice. PART I^2. THE TRADITION OF ARCHITECTURE^16 2.2 PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE Following in the footsteps of Alberti and his efforts to lend an improved social status to the profession, the architects of 18th century England attempted to find security and status in acting "as impartial agents midway between client and builder." (Saint, 1983:58) In Laugier's Essai sur l'Architecture of 1753, the attempt was made to derive from first principles the 'true' nature or the basis for architectural form. The engraving that fronted this work indicated a fundamental change in the perception of architecture. As Vale points out, Laugier's engraving, ". . . shows no builder of the primitive hut but rather a figure representing the designer, with compasses in hand, who is to transpose the visual characteristics of the primitive wooden shelter into stone, and subsequently the classical tradition. With this transposition the divorce of the building from the user is begun . . ." (Vale, 1991:10) Further, Laugier's return to first principles in the search for rational form was an approach to be revisited with the advent of the Modern Movement. It was here, though, that architectural theory first brought forward the notion that "style, as something independent of the mode of building, could be talked about." (Bognar, 1989:16) The Industrial Revolution had effectively created a new patron for the architect with the rise of the upper middle class in trade and industry (Wilton-Ely, 1977:190). In their search for clients, however, they were faced with mounting competition from entrepreneurial 'design-build' services (Saint, 1983:60). Buffeted as he was from "engineers, surveyors, cabinetmakers and even house agents" (Saint, 1983:60), the architect needed to establish a PART I^2. THE TRADITION OF ARCHITECTURE^17 Figure 2.1 Laugier's engraving (Source: Vale, 1991) PART I^2. THE TRADITION OF ARCHITECTURE^18 distinct identity and improve his social status and separate himself from the competition. In 1791 the Architects' Club was established in Britain. With a membership limited to members of the Royal Academy of Arts (formed in 1768) and selected others, the discussions of this exclusive dinner club included professional qualifications and fees (Wilton-Ely, 1977:192) - topics that today continue to occupy the interests of professional institutes. In 1834 the Institute of British Architects was founded with a mandate to facilitate "the acquirement of architectural knowledge, for the promotion of the different branches of science connected with it, and for establishing an uniformity and respectability of the practice of the profession." (Wilton-Ely, 1977:193). The same incentive that drove Alberti to seek a stronger differentiation between the architect and the craftsmen on the site, was now motivating British architects to seek respectability in professionalization. Aside from the promotion of architectural knowledge, two issues consumed the interest of the Institute in these early years - the relationship between the architect and the building industry (particularly, one would assume, the design-build companies) and, related to that, professional self-defence. With all these other parties involved in the construction industry staking a claim for the built environment, the architect was left with Alberti's increasingly confining claim to 'art' as his domain of expertise 2 . The territory that Alberti argued for was now 2.^The rise of Romanticism and the new attitudes towards the creative act and 'Art' that arose with Goethe and Schiller and were keenly expressed in England by the likes of Blake and Wordsworth. This certainly helped to reinforce the reverential attitude in architecture towards the creative act and its product as the central dominion of the architect. See Saint on Goethe's Romantic misinterpretation PART I^2. THE TRADITION OF ARCHITECTURE^19 being thrust upon the profession as the only remaining territory in the built environment over which the architect could lay claim 3 . Art, as a means of self-defence, did not leave the new professional with a strong argument against the shifting divisions of labour that developed out of the Industrial Revolution. These changes in the labour force were, in part, a result of the population explosion in Britain that took place between 1800 and 1830. Urbanization and the increase of population from 9 to 14 million in the space of those thirty years, created a need for housing that called for "far larger speculative ventures in urban development than had been connected with the leisurely evolution of Georgian London, Bath, or Edinburgh." (Wilton- Ely, 1977:193) With this need, the nature of the construction process had to change. The master-craftsman, working on piece-work, was replaced by the general contractor with a team of craftsmen who would bid competitively for a job on a lump sum basis. With this, there was further reason for the architect's role to shift away from the site to the drawing board. Drawings became the medium of the legal contract between parties - the general contractor, the client, and the architect. The of the Gothic (Saint, 1983:19-23) and Mark Swenarton, Artisans and Architects on Goethe's influence on Ruskin and the rise of the Arts & Crafts movement. 3.^The sense in which the term 'Art' is used, though, changed. For Goethe and the Romantics that followed, "true art was not (as classical theory held) a matter of formal beauty so much as a matter of 'character', the expression in the object of the God-given urge in man to 'find material in which to breathe his spirit'. Against neoclassical notions of 'good taste', Goethe saw art as the expression of the primitive . . ." (Swenarton, 1989:3) Abbe Laugier, although with neoclassical intent, did, with the Romantics, favour "Nature as the ultimate source of authority" (Wilton-Ely, 1977:190) leading to what Watkin called, "hut worship" (Watkin, 1977:2). See also, Rykwert, (1972:43-50) for a discussion of the relationship between Laugier's approach to architecture and Rousseau's approach to human social development. PART I^2. THE TRADITION OF ARCHITECTURE^20 drawings and specifications as legal documents were reinforced by the declining "skill and initiative among the building crafts through general contracting." (Wilton-Ely, 1977:194) The client now needed some protection in the course of a contract that would assure him of getting what he asked for. The growing reliance on drawings and the technique of architecture widened a rift between the professional architect and the 'artist' architect. The approach of the former gave the client better protection from unscrupulous or unskilled builders, while the latter could provide the client with only the ineffable. In the midst of these growing rifts, Pugin published Contrasts in 1836. Seen in the context of combined shift on the one hand from art to professionalism (or practice) and on the other the shift away from craft and the direct connections on the site to the drawing board, it is little wonder that he embraced the Gothic as a model for architecture. While Pugin couched his argument in terms of morality and Catholic orthodoxy, one can see the relationship between his arguments and the need to return to a time of greater coherence between art and craft, as well as a stronger relationship between architecture and religion. For Pugin, Gothic architecture represented the revealed truth of the Catholic church. Further, he believed that, "since Gothic architecture is divinely ordained it is not marked by human imperfections but is an inescapable reality." (Watkin, 1977:19) With the quest for 'inescapable reality' architectural theory added yet another requirement in the definition of architecture - a definition that could - like the definition of health by doctors 4 - only be determined or recognized by 4.^See Ivan Illich, Medical Nemesis. He suggests that the medical profession is, as he puts it, "a radical monopoly" PART I^2. THE TRADITION OF ARCHITECTURE^21 the professional. In addition to this harbinger of the modern movement's search for an architecture beyond style, Pugin also ushered in a new sense "of social responsibility and active commitment to a philosophy of design" (Wilton- Ely, 1977:195). This new sense not only related the profession itself to its responsibilities to society but it related design to morality and to a kind of architectural determinism - that is, that good design can create good people (see McLeod, 1971:9) This instilled in Pugin a sense of social responsibility that was to affect the more conscientious architects of the nineteenth century (Wilton- Ely, 1977:195). The dissatisfaction with the growing separation between art and practice, and the need for an expression of the relationship between art and society was further developed by John Ruskin, William Morris, and the Arts and Crafts Movement. With the revolutions in Europe in 1848 coming hot on the heels of the first recession of the new industrial age, Ruskin felt bound to respond to the inequity he saw around him. Like Pugin, Ruskin saw 'true' architecture as a Christian art and Gothic was the architectural representation of Christianity. "[B]y combining the sense of the crisis of industrial society . . . with the notions of art that he had inherited from German Romanticism, Ruskin forged the notion of Gothic architecture 'as involving the liberty of the workman' . . ." (Swenarton, 1989:15) Ruskin, then, did not see architecture as an isolated phenomenon, or an issue of style, but "as the record of human activity or work,"; that is, as process (McLeod, that disables people from doing or making things on their own, thus impinging on freedom and independence. This monopoly also "labels the handicapped as unfit and breeds ever new categories of patients." (Illich, 1977:34, 35) Illich is echoing E.C. Hughes comments about the professional. See 3.1. PART I^2. THE TRADITION OF ARCHITECTURE^22 1971:43). In addition to recognizing the role of process in architecture, in his 1849 publication, The Seven Lamps of Architecture, he also put forward the popular notion "linking morality and the redeeming virtues of the nuclear family to the very details of domestic architecture" (Larson, 1983:66). With Morris, the emphasis changed from Christian morality to a more secular determinism: "that man will automatically produce great work if he is given freedom and autonomy in its execution" (McLeod, 1971:43). Morris and his colleague, Philip Webb, were particularly taken by those aspects of medieval society 5 that placed priority on the communal life of the village and the guild rather than on the abstractions of philosophy and theory. By this time, the profession was moving closer to establishing a registration procedure for architects. This, of course, implied significant changes in the training of architects and equally substantial changes in the relationship between architects and builders. As a campaign, it was in direct conflict with the need recognized by Pugin, Ruskin, and Morris that there must be a closer relationship between the architect and the process of building. As a result, although there were certainly many in favour of a registration procedure - older professionals in larger practices and younger practitioners who wanted to see their qualifications recognized - there were many against the concept. Among the most articulate of these opponents was W. R. Lethaby, one of the leading proponents of the Arts and Crafts Movement. He saw that the move 5.^It should be noted that part of the interest in medievalism was prompted by a profound mistrust of mechanization. In this sense, those architects, like Ruskin and Morris, were seen as withdrawing from the challenges of industrialization. (Wilton-Ely, 1977:202) PART I^2. THE TRADITION OF ARCHITECTURE^23 towards professionalism placed the architect in a position that was too far removed from the production of buildings. The fragmentation that began with Alberti was exacerbated by the registration of professional architects. The intention, however, was similar - the establishment and public recognition of an elite that would act as arbiters of taste 6 (another word that created considerable annoyance in the Arts and Crafts Movement). The other intention was, with the recognition of this status by society, to further entrench the position of architects against an increasing array of design and building services. To this end, the RIBA began to lobby for registration in 1890. Registration legislation was delayed until 1931 in part because of the inability of the RIBA to take control of the profession (Saint, 1983:66) 7 , but by the turn of the century the fight for registration was all but over. The problems of the profession, however, were not. If architects were to be registered by a legislative act of the State, there would be implications on the training of architects and on the defining role of the architect. Legislation finally formalized in the public's perception, the fundamental questions that arose with the Industrial Revolution: what is it in the training of the architect or in the practice of architecture that differentiates it from the engineer, the professional builders, or even cabinet makers? (see Saint, 1983:60) 6. As Gwendolyn Wright points out, in the United States during this period, although architects continued to insist publicly on the absence of class differences, they "lamented the crudity of aesthetic taste among the lower and middle classes . . . Within a few years, the WAA [Western Association of Architects] would also include 'lazy, uneducated workers' as part of the problem it faced in trying to keep 'the art divine'" (Wright, 1980:73-4) 7. By the turn of the century only 10 percent of the profession belonged to the organization. (Wilton-Ely, 1977:202) PART I^2. THE TRADITION OF ARCHITECTURE^24 2.3. THE CURRENT PROFESSION The pending institutionalization of architecture prepared its proponents for new developments that came with the turn of the century. Engineering took on greater importance both as a model of professionalism and as a basis for aesthetic rationale. Architecture as a business became a more prominent concern and the Acts and Bylaws that governed the newly formed profession of architecture reflected this bias. 2.3.1.^The Rise of Engineering Historically, engineering was not well differentiated from architecture until the twentieth century and the scientific revolution in technology. However, with the Industrial Revolution there were many new opportunities for the exploration of these differences in bridge-building, in factories and warehouses and in new building types such as railway stations, schools, hospitals and so on. It was with the development of the railway from 1825 that these opportunities were best realized in the design and construction of railway stations. Because there was no precedent for this building type, there was a conflict between the cultural needs of the form and its more utilitarian requirements. There was no form available "to express and articulate adequately the junction between the head building and the train shed." (Frampton, 1980:33) Both St. Pancras Station and Paddington Station in London reflected this problem. Brunel's engineering design of the latter was poorly matched with "the rather rudimentary station building" (Frampton, 1980:34) in front of the train shed. Brunel's staff, indeed, was capable of handling most architectural work. The reverse, however, could not be said, since "few architects could boast of half his constructional capabilities." (Saint, 1983:60) PART I^2. THE TRADITION OF ARCHITECTURE^25 These new forms captured not only the public's imagination but that of architects as well. With exhibition buildings, the engineer had none of the problems of the railway terminus, "for where the issues of cultural context could scarcely arise the engineer reigned supreme." (Frampton, 1980:34) The displays of invention that marked such efforts as the Crystal Palace and Eiffel's tower in Paris became icons of a new age - of design, of the division of labour, and of the Victorian sense of the dominion of science over nature. With the split between the cultural and technological context of built form, the division between engineering and architecture widened. The engineer's interest, from the public's perception, was seen to be structural safety, while the architect's interest was increasingly in the realm of aesthetics or at least, style. With the rise of the Modern Movement by the turn of the century, the aesthetics of engineering took on an even greater interest than was displayed in the works of Paxton, Eiffel or Brunel. Le Corbusier, Gropius, the Futurists all held a fascination for the rationality of engineered design. "Our engineers are healthy and virile, active and useful, balanced and happy in their work. Our architects are disillusioned and unemployed, boastful or peevish. This is because there will soon be nothing more for them to do. . . . Our engineers produce architecture, for they employ a mathematical calculation which derives from natural law, and their works give us the feeling of HARMONY. The engineer therefore has his own aesthetic, for he must, in making his calculations, qualify some of the terms of his equation; and it is here that taste intervenes. Now, in handling a mathematical problem, a man is regarding it from a purely abstract point of view, and in such a state, his taste must follow a sure and certain path. (Le Corbusier, [19701:18-9) PART I^2. THE TRADITION OF ARCHITECTURE^26 This 'sure and certain path' marked the modernist search for a rationality in aesthetics that could place architecture beyond style. It reflected also a shift towards a scientific basis for aesthetics which, in turn, placed a greater dependence on the engineer whose training and abilities were better suited to scientific rationalism than those of the architect. Yet, despite the fascination, or as some have put it, a fetishism with functionalism 8 , the architect's role was becoming increasingly restricted. As Larson pointed out, "Of the Vitruvian definition - architecture is the combination of 'firmness, commodity and delight' - only delight was not claimed by credentialed or otherwise expert rivals. To concentrate on the aesthetic dimension of building was therefore an inevitable strategic choice." (Larson, 1983:72) The additional erosion of the power of architecture over the built environment created an even more compelling need for the professionalization of the architecture. 9 8. See Pecora, 1991. Deutsche makes the further point that the "functionalization of the city" politicizes space while obscuring the identity of those who define its use. There is a political conflict, then, between "the technocratic definition of the city as the product of experts" and the attribution of meaning to space through social processes. (Deutsche, 1991:159-60) 9. In 1991 the Nova Scotia Association of Architects came into dispute with the Engineers Association over jurisdictional issues with regard to suggested changes to the provincial act governing architecture. The NSAA wanted jurisdiction over buildings used by people but engineers, who are currently working on buildings designed for some types of human use found this encroached on their turf. What was questioned is the definition of 'building'. "The Engineering Act refers to structures. The Architecture Act refers to buildings. Engineers say they're synonymous. But architects say structures are [merely] beams, floors, things like that . . ." (Jones, 1991) The architects claimed that because they are trained to include "psychological, sociological and aesthetic considerations, which engineers PART I^2. THE TRADITION OF ARCHITECTURE^27 2.3.2.^The Legitimation of Architecture Professionalization demanded a definition of the role of the architect in society. If the profession was requesting a monopoly over a certain segment of society, the public had a right to know not only what this monopoly would do to protect the public interest, undoubtedly it also would ask why this monopoly should be granted to one group providing a service rather than another. In other words, why should architects and not, say, engineers have that power. This forced the profession into defining its role in the same way as the medical or engineering professions. These other professions could lay claim to a specialized area of knowledge to which architects could not. Because they are scientifically based areas of knowledge, both medicine and engineering can define the area of their specialization with some rigour. Indeed, without growing levels of specialization, the practitioner in these fields would be unable to keep abreast of the growing layers of information that results from the cumulative growth in scientific knowledge. However, as Pythius pointed out some 2400 years ago, architects are generalists, not specialists. Architecture, like law, is not so much a science-based profession as it is culture-based. As a result the means by which the professional domain can be defined will be different and certainly less clear. Yet, with professionalization comes the requirement to address that fundamental question: What do architects do that others in the building professions and trades do not?10 are not there is justification in making such a distinction. 10. The question is often answered by referring to the architect's association with aesthetics, a position that Alberti encouraged. Ironically this was the very position PART I^2. THE TRADITION OF ARCHITECTURE^28 The modern profession has not yet satisfactorily answered it. Although we can say that there is a difference between architecture and structure, if we resort solely to the notion that that difference is aesthetic, or qualitative, the public response is typically that such judgments are in the eye of the beholder: that is, subjective and therefore hardly adequate as a defining characteristic to a profession that would be given charge over a significant portion of the built environment. It is a response that is shared by other professionals and paraprofessionals in the building industry. The architectural profession, in reaction to this, was compelled to become, institutionally, progressively more defensive of its position and to attempt, in individual practice, to become more specialized. Viewed from an historical perspective, there is little to suggest that either will meet with success. The defensive position, at the institutional level, has led to the legislative act that governs the practice of architecture - The Architects Act (see Appendix I) - to define the profession by exclusion. In other words, architecture is defined in the Act by what others can or cannot do. Article 57 defines the "practice of Architecture" as someone who "is engaged in the planning or supervision of the erection or alteration of buildings for persons other than himself". There are, however exceptions to this general definition. These exceptions make the definition specific. Section 58 of the Act in British Columbia indicates that engineers are not prevented by the Act from erecting buildings that are "usually designed or supervised for these purposes by an engineer." It does not prevent individuals from designing their own houses or duplexes, or corporations from having 'qualified persons' claimed by the British architectural opponents to registration. Since art could not be taught, how could it be examined? (see McLeod, 1971:125; Saint, 1983:66) PART I^2. THE TRADITION OF ARCHITECTURE^29 making plans, specifications for buildings to be occupied by the corporation. It does not prevent anyone from designing apartment buildings containing less than five suites, hotels containing less than 11 rooms, commercial buildings under 470 square metres, and so on. The definition of the professional jurisdiction for architects, then, has been limited by the Act to numbers. Why should eleven rooms be the limit?" Or 470 square metres? While designers, who remain on the outside, may argue to increase these limits, many simply go on and design what s/he pleases and wait for the Institute to discover the infraction and then successfully take legal action against the alleged offence. Consequently, if the Institute is to defend these apparently arbitrary numbers, it must put a significant amount of its energies towards policing. In addition to the increasingly defensive posture of the profession towards its jurisdiction in the built environment, increasing specialization within the building industry as a whole has contributed to the further erosion of the professional jurisdiction. The division of labour within the construction industry has continued apace since the early 19th century. As buildings have increased in their complexity, both programmatically and in construction technique, there has been growth in these divisions of labour. Gutman points out that both Robert Stern and Robert Venturi have "work completed in their offices [that] is 11. These limits are related to aspects of the National and Provincial buildings codes that govern aspects of fire and structural safety in relation to the size of buildings. Although the numbers that result from that relationship are not entirely arbitrary, they imply that only those people who are familiar with the code intent will be able to competently deal with that size of building. This would, in turn, suggest that only architects have that competence. Such is not the case. Indeed, architects are now often using code experts (non-architects) as subconsultants, particularly on complex building programs. PART I^2. THE TRADITION OF ARCHITECTURE^30 frequently limited to specialized services in design." (Gutman, 1988:39) Working drawings, specifications, construction management and even the interior space planning, particularly of technical facilities, have been left to other experts. Gutman gives the example of the Lewis Thomas Laboratories at Princeton in which Venturi was the "architect for the exterior of the building; [and] Thomas Payette, architect for the interior." (Gutman, 1988:39) Even in less high-profile architectural offices, similar, if less extensive specialization occurs. Routinely, specifications are left to subconsultants, as is interior design, compliance of the design to building codes and fire codes, as well as the administration of the construction contract. 2.3.3^The New Formalism With increasing specialization, it is not surprising that Venturi commented predictively: "The architect's ever diminishing power and his growing ineffectualness in shaping the whole environment can perhaps be reversed, ironically, by narrowing his concerns and concentrating on his own job. Perhaps then relationships and power will take care of themselves." (Venturi, 1966:20) For Venturi, Stern and others that job was fundamentally formalist in nature. With this statement he effectively abandoned the functionalism of the Modernists along with their social vision and claim to technical rationality. Staking a claim to formalism was safe from jurisdictional assault, was highly marketable and well controlled. It was well controlled because its formalistic principles were self-defining (in much the same way that sociologists and critics as disparate as Hughes and Illich have indicated that the medical profession defines health and disease) and PART I^2. THE TRADITION OF ARCHITECTURE^31 ultimately self-referential. In the postmodern framework the meaning in architecture is defined by the architect "in the form of witty comment upon earlier conventions" (Ghirardo, 1991:10) This can also be extended to comment on social conditions or, as Venturi put it: "The architect who would accept his role as combiner of significant old cliches - valid banalities - in new contexts as his condition within a society that directs its best efforts, its big money, and its elegant technologies elsewhere, can ironically express in this indirect way a true concern for society's inverted scale of values. (Venturi, 1966:52) In a response to this rather conciliatory approach to social comment, the Deconstructivist social commentary was certainly more confrontational. For this more recent stage of formalism, "fragmentation, dispersion, decentering, schizophrenia, disturbance are the new objectives." (McLeod, 1989:43) In addition, within the framework of the poststructuralist linguistic theory, architecture is seen, as Eisenman describes it, as "independent discourse, free of external values - classical or any other; that is, the intersection of the meaning-free, the arbitrary, and the timeless in the artificial" (in McLeod, 1989:47) This formal hermeticism places architecture, finally, beyond the contaminating reach of social processes, of history, or of meaning. It not only defies the functionalism of the Moderns but also the allusive character of the Postmoderns. In this way control is complete. Even the "role of the ideal client has now been subsumed by the architects themselves" (Crawford, 1991:43), a solipsistic stance with which the architectural literary hero, Howard Roark, would likely feel quite comfortable. Excluded from this discussion is mass culture and the overwhelming majority of buildings and the people who use them. This closed conversation of the avant-garde has PART I^2. THE TRADITION OF ARCHITECTURE^32 become progressively more theoretical. It is no accident that Michael Graves' drawings or his teapot design are seen as equally, if not more important than the buildings themselves. It is also no accident that Michael Graves is seen in advertisements for Dexter shoes. This self-referential formalism is also highly marketable. The "culture of consumption incorporated postmodernism's emphasis on surface and readable imagery as a useful form of packaging essentially identical structures into more compelling products, subsuming architectural style into a brand-name marketing strategy." (Crawford, 1991:41) Graves' products, his signature, are highly marketable. In much the same way as sports stars' names are associated with a variety of sports products, so Graves' name is associated with high fashion, whether the product was designed by him or not. This made the Postmodern style very adaptable to the marketplace. In addition, because it was, effectively, 'the decorated shed' (to use Venturi's term), it very quickly became "the style of choice for the cheapest and most expedient building types: motels, shopping malls, and fast food restaurants" (Crawford, 1991:42) The division of labour, to which Gutman referred, between exterior and interior architecture was a natural outcome of this shift into formalism. Another outcome of Venturi's 'Gentle Manifesto' was the retreat by some professionals, the avant-garde, into "complex theoretical constructs that render architecture untouchable by the demands of modern life" (Crawford, 1991:42) It is here that the jurisdictional safety of the profession is complete. It is safe from the corrupting influence of business and safe, as well, from the socio- political concerns of modern life. With such theoretical constructs, over which the cognoscenti of the profession PART I ^2. THE TRADITION OF ARCHITECTURE^33 hold complete control, the architect can at the same time "signify both the exchange or commercial value of the architect's skills and the architect's ability to renounce all mere exchange value." (Pecora, 1991:46) By becoming completely autonomous, from both business and social concerns, architecture both "aestheticizes society" and "finally succeeds in making itself irrelevant" (Pecora, 1991:48) 2.4. THE BUSINESS OF ARCHITECTURE For the great majority of practising architects, these theoretical options are unavailable in any meaningful sense since architecture is also a business. As such the professional is providing a service for specified fees. It is classified as "a producer service business, since the bulk of practice today provides services to producers of commodities" (Gutman, 1988:9). The services that the professional provides form part of the contractual obligations between the parties involved in the production of a building but they also involve some of the broader issues of development from urban design to feasibility studies. In order to survive as a practising professional, the architect must deal with four issues: getting the work, determining for whom s/he is working, determining the scope of services and undertaking the work. 2.4.1.^The Marketplace Getting the work demands from the architect some ability in promoting and marketing the firm. This endeavour places the architectural firm squarely in the same marketplace, using PART I^2. THE TRADITION OF ARCHITECTURE^34 the same marketing tools, as anyone selling their services or goods. Some architects are still uncomfortable with the prospect of advertising the business side of their work to clients and the public. (Gutman, 1988:20) This discomfort led one marketing professional to observe that "architects' brochures are about as understated as anything created in the universe . . . [they] have a secret competition to see who can use the smallest type size on their business cards." (AIA, 1987:9) Although the Bylaws of the Architectural Institute of British Columbia allows - as now do most, if not all, professional bodies - advertising by professionals, there are limits placed on the way it can be presented. Fees, for example, cannot be stated. 12 Until recently, the legal profession faced the same prohibition. It was considered by the governing bodies that advertising was fundamentally unprofessional. "To many architects being known as a business person means that clients will imagine they place profitability and self-interest ahead of concern for building quality and the well-being of the client. The latter concerns are the hallmark of professionalism." (Gutman, 1988:20) Many of the larger firms in the United States and Canada are now hiring, not as consultants but as full-time employees, marketing and promotional staff to prepare brochures, press releases, and advertising for the firm. Such efforts may leave the public with some suspicion that the professional's priorities place economic self-interest well ahead of the public interest. However, without some level of self- interest, a firm cannot survive. Although many architects 12. Since 1972 such a prohibition was removed from the code of ethics of the AIA through a consent decree with the Department of Justice. (from Gutman, 1988:75) PART I^2. THE TRADITION OF ARCHITECTURE^35 react unfavourably, or with outright hostility, to the presence of marketing personnel within the firm (Cuff, 1991:69), the AIA has recognized, as has the AIBC with the publication of its "As Others Should See Us" document, that the promotion of the firm is critical to its survival. This relatively enthusiastic response on the part of the North American regulatory bodies to the business needs of the profession was not nearly so receptively received by the RIBA. Before 1979 "the RIBA Code of Professional Conduct did not allow architects to initiate direct approaches to potential clients." (Gutman, 1988:81) As architectural practice in North America becomes more homogeneous in terms of training and its regulatory environment (including licensing requirements), competition for work increases. Many larger firms now work at a national, even an international level. This is particularly true for those firms that are associated with commercial clients that operate at a national or international level. Those firms, then, with broader access to markets and with the available cash flow to support marketing staff, will undoubtedly have a competitive edge on those local and regional firms pursuing the same work. Aside from these more immediate issues of survival, the issue of marketing raises a broader point concerning the actions of professionals. Andrew Saint gives the example of the British architect John Poulson who, after his bankruptcy and imprisonment in 1973, became a symbol of "certain objectionable features in British business and politics during the 1960s". (Saint, 1983:138) One of the reasons for his bankruptcy was his practice of presenting 'generous gifts' to those people in business and government that could assist him in securing contracts for his firm. In other words, he "schemed, bullied, bribed and cajoled his way to obtaining the all-important contracts" (Saint, 1983:140). PART I^2. THE TRADITION OF ARCHITECTURE^36 Poulson's corrupt and illegal behaviour, though, received an interesting response from those architects in the RIBA with experience in commercial and international practice. "By the standards of international business, Poulson had done nothing exceptionally wicked, however inept or misguided or greedy he might have been. Had not the accident of financial failure prised open the can of worms, none of these misdemeanours would have come to light. In how many other matters of business, of government and of building might not similar derelictions have been hidden, simply by cleverer organization and accounting? (Saint, 1983:141) This stance seems reminiscent of the response of the Republican public to Watergate. The error of Nixon and his staff was in their clumsiness of getting caught, not in the deed itself. There is, of course, a fundamental difference between aggressive marketing and illegal acts, but when professionals enter the sphere of influence controlled by business, they are playing by the same rules - or lack of them - that govern business. An acute awareness of that line between public interest and self-interest is a requirement of professionalism. 2.4.2.^The Client The demand for architectural services has traditionally come from the wealthy and from institutions such as the church or the government. Modern practice has depended on "a broad middle-and upper-middle-class support for high culture" (Cuff, 1991:53) but the bulk of its work comes not from individuals but from institutions; the traditional ones of the church and government, but most predominantly from corporations. Nearly 45% of fees come from commercial projects (Gutman, 1988:119). As such, architects are more typically dealing with agents of the client who are in turn PART I^2. THE TRADITION OF ARCHITECTURE^37 representing boards of directors or committees. The actual client is obscured by bureaucratic organizational structure. The end user is represented only by program requirements. The dynamics of client organizations will affect the development and organizational structure of the architectural firm (see 2.4.4.) It will also affect the design process and product. Fitch argues, for example, that the isolation of the architect from the client, or more particularly, the end user has "precipitated the trend toward more formal, abstract, and less humane design." (in Cuff, 1991:55) The abstraction of postmodernism suited this trend well. The spirit of entrepreneurial development affected the nature of the client group as well. By the 1970's, in addition to the ability to advertise, architects, predominantly in the U.S., were beginning to follow in the pioneering footsteps of John Portman and becoming more directly involved in acting as their own developers. In such a capacity, now allowed within the framework of the Standards of Professional Practice of the AIA, as well as within the Bylaws of the registration bodies in Canadian architecture, the architect is now able to act as her own client. In such a capacity, difficulties can arise between the role of the architect as a professional (with the interests of the public good as a central concern) and as a developer (with the interests of profit and survival as a business as more central concerns). Sometimes these separate motives do not conflict, but when they do, the resolution to that conflict may tend to obscure the needs and the interests of the public. John Portman considers that his work, "increases value and makes developments successful, for only the designer by 'weaving elements of sensory appeal' into his projects can humanize the calculations PART I^2. THE TRADITION OF ARCHITECTURE^38 of the speculator. Thus architecture and real estate work to mutual advantage and to the whole community's benefit." (Saint, 1983:153) On the other side, however, "his schemes confront the problems of urban renewal, his chosen field of combat, only indirectly. He remains as a developer bound fast by profitability; his great projects, so far as they have yet gone, serve only the affluent middle classes and the corporations that rent his office and hotel space. Prosperity, by the orthodox theory of capitalism, is to percolate downwards throughout the social hierarchy as a result of the jobs created by these developments. (Saint, 1983:153-4) It could be readily argued that Portman's role in development was not to build housing for the poor so there should be no reason why he should be called to task for directing his development attentions to the affluent middle class. This is hardly an argument against architects acting as developers. Furthermore, as Saint and Gutman point out, the role of architect as developer is not a new one. It was practiced by Adam and Nash in England and by Bulfinch and Richardson in the U.S. but, in the development of the professionalization of architecture in the latter half of the nineteenth century, the desire to distance the profession from commerce and craft proved overwhelming. The fact that the cycle has returned to a somewhat earlier model of the profession should not be cause for concern. Yet, the rationale that was presented in favour of professionalization in the nineteenth century gave rise to this separation between development and professional practice. The fact that the profession has returned to this model of the architect acting as his own client suggests that there were and are some problems with the argument for professionalization. On the other hand, as Richard Meier put it, in a more contemporary context: PART I^2. THE TRADITION OF ARCHITECTURE^39 "I don't believe that one can adequately provide professional architectural services and also be a financier or real-estate person. You're just spread too thin. . . . It's a lame excuse to say that you have to be a financier in order to be a good architect." (from Gutman, 1988:49) Each of these tasks - architect and developer - consume all of the available time of the individuals involved. John Scott, the marketing specialist, echoed Meier's observations in pointing out that "people running an architecture practice probably can't run a development business at the same time, and certainly not as a sideline." (AIA, 1987:8) Robert Steinberg remarked further that: "Architects and developers have fundamentally different yardsticks . . . Most architects value permanence, a philosophical imperative to leave something behind. The developer's yardstick is usually, simply, money; if you don't value (and have) money, you aren't a developer long. Consequently, it can be very difficult to be an outstanding developer and an outstanding architect." (AIA, 1987:19) In another arena, conflicts can arise when the architect is employed by a developer to provide housing for a non-profit organization. In British Columbia, for example, non-profit housing is subsidized , in part, by the Provincial government. Schemes are submitted by non-profit organizations, often working with developers. These submissions must include preliminary plans for the development, clear title or an option on the land, zoning approvals for the proposed development and so on. For organizations with little or no money available, it is often quite impossible to prepare such a submission without a developer. Typically, then, a developer will approach the group with a property in place, with a development team, including an architect, and only the requirement for an PART I^2. THE TRADITION OF ARCHITECTURE^40 organization with whom he can associate in order to make the appropriate submission. In such a process the end user, the members of the non-profit organization, are likely to have only minimal input in the design process. They will often get what they are given. In such instances the architect is employed directly by the developer and is inclined to take his/her instructions from that 'client'. There is, though, another client that the architect must recognize - the people that will be living in the building over the course of its useful life. When conflict arises between the client who pays and the client who must live with the decisions made, the architect will base his/her decisions on the recognition of the architect's role as a profession or a business. Again, in most instances, these roles may not conflict, but where they do, the architect must decide which role takes priority. 13 2.4.3.^Scope of Services There are many roles that the professional can play in the built environment. The design of buildings is only one of them. The modern tradition of architecture - that is, since the early nineteenth century - evolved out of a need for an intermediary between the Building Contractor and the Client. In this role, the architect had to be conversant with the technical aspects of building, construction law, construction management as well as a command of the tools that can translate the client's needs into something that can be built and used. As this intermediary role was developing, the architect often took on a number of roles that have since been delegated to other consultants and specialists. In England, these tasks included: "arranging leases, assessing rents, measuring property, taking out 13. How professionals make these decisions will be explained further in Chapter 3. PART I^2. THE TRADITION OF ARCHITECTURE^41 quantities and so forth." (Saint, 1983:58) In addition, particularly in the early part of the nineteenth century, architects often had interests in contracting companies and materials suppliers (MacLeod, 1971:123). In the United States during the same period, architects, as a result of organizational differences in the construction industry, were often more involved in construction management. General contractors had not developed to the same extent as they had in Britain so the architect was left with the responsibility of supervision separate contracts for each trade. (Saint, 1983:73) In contemporary practice, much of this broader scope of services has been either delegated to other consultants or has been deemed as unprofessional conduct by the registration bodies governing the profession. A review of the traditional scope of services performed by the architect (Appendix A) indicates not only an expected focus on design, but a facility with: - coordination of subconsultants - budget review - review and compliance with all applicable codes - coordination of data - preparation of contract documents - monitoring and interpretation of contracts - review of contractor's claims for payment - review of warranties - client consultation - agency consultation In addition to these basic services, the architect may be expected to provide or supervise the provision of additional services such as: PART I^2. THE TRADITION OF ARCHITECTURE^42 - facility programming - life cycle costing - economic feasibility studies - marketing studies - environmental and energy studies - project management - building diagnostics - post-occupancy evaluations - project financing - interior design - project promotion - fine arts - environmental monitoring - urban design - urban and regional planning - policy development - training This range of services is still quite broad despite the reduction of services in some areas over the past 150 years. The return of some architects to the former role of developer/architect has added a dimension of financial and management capabilities to this inventory of responsibilities. In general, though, those skills still involve the architect's ability in design, technology, and management (of both information and people). 2.4.4.^Office Practice Depending on the level of responsibility and exposure to liability which the architect is prepared to accept, s/he will engage in practice at one of several levels: salaried architect, sole proprietorship, partnership, joint venture, or corporation. The size of a firm will determine, in part, the kind and complexity of the work it will do and the way PART I^2. THE TRADITION OF ARCHITECTURE^43 in which the creative process (and therefore the results of that process) is managed. More than 93% of architectural firms have fewer than 20 employees (Gutman, 1988:115). The remaining 7% of large and very large firms capture 56% of all revenues (Cuff, 1991:47). While there is an obvious economic pressure toward increasing the size of a firm to accommodate the needs of the larger market afforded by commercial clients, size will have an impact on the organization of an office, the relationship that employees have to the design process, and on the product that results from this process. Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM), a firm with nearly 1,600 employees in London and five U.S. cities, provides the best- known example of the development of the large firm directed toward the provision of service to the corporate client. SOM was formed in 1939 by two architects and an engineer. Their aims were broad in scope. Not only did they want to garner recognition for themselves and the profession, they wanted to gain the respect of this growing client group by developing an office structure that could match their client's needs at a national level. Beyond that, they were interested in, "the influencing and alteration of the physical condition of society: 'We were not after jobs as such. We were after leverage in influence social and environmental conditions.' Beyond that was another aim, yet larger: 'To work, we must have volume. An efficient set of master builders can eat up a lot of work. Volume meant power. We would try to change men's minds". (Boyle, 1977:325-6) To accomplish these aims, SOM provided not only the traditional design services of architecture and engineering, but the additional services of graphics, interior design, master planning, research, construction management and so PART I^2. THE TRADITION OF ARCHITECTURE^44 on. In this way their clients, generally national in scope themselves, could come to one firm for a range of design and related services. The organization of the SON offices demanded a division of labour and a hierarchical chain of command that matched that of any national corporation. In providing such a broad range of design services, the firm was following in the conceptual footsteps of Gropius, Morris, or, as Owings himself suggested, the Gothic master- builders. The difference between them, in part, was that for SOM "total design was conceived as a device of control as much as of service" (Boyle, 1977:328) The more areas of the design process that the firm could control, the more consistent would be the product to the general aims of the office. Although larger firms can take on more complex tasks, which will tend to expand the opportunity for collective influence (Blau, 1984:34) it also reduces democratic control in favour of hierarchical decision-making. Running counter to this tendency for increasing control is the understanding that architecture, like filmmaking, is more a collective art than strictly an individual one (see Cuff, 1991:56). There are many organizations and individuals exercising some level of control over the process and the product. Despite the romanticized (and politicized) version of the creative act represented by Howard Roark in Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead, the architectural firm is influenced from all sides. The resistance to such influence, through the organizational structure of the office will tend, in itself, to separate the firm and the architect from many of the parties involved, directly or indirectly, in the design - most notably, the public. The more the design process is rationalized, either by age or by organizational structure, the less likely is innovation to occur and the more perfunctory is the decision-making. Such ossification "can PART I^2. THE TRADITION OF ARCHITECTURE^45 be expected to erode the collective exercise of voice." (Blau, 1984:30) 2.5. THE PROFESSIONAL DILEMMA Patterns emerge from such a broad historical overview. In the long history of the profession, the emphasis has swung between theory and practice, between art and craft, between business and profession. Even in contemporary practice all of these streams seem evident. From SOM and their approach to the organization of their business practice, to the theoretical stance of Eisenman; from the formalism of Graves to the design/build approach of the 'woodbutchers' of the 1960s (exemplified by Blue Sky Design on Hornby Island in British Columbia), the range of design method and organizational environment is widely available to the practising architect. With such options available, why would the architect choose alternatives to traditional practice? A reader's poll in Progressive Architecture indicated that "about half of all architects under the age of 50 have considered leaving conventional practice for nontraditional employment" (Arcidi, 1990:60) The main reasons for their dissatisfaction, after financial, were the qualitative issues of control over one's work, opportunities for advancement and personal satisfaction. Beyond that, at the institutional level, there are continuing problems that are integral to the professionalization process. Increasing specialization since the Industrial Revolution affected the architect's access to work. That specialization has been continuing with the increasing complexity of buildings. While it is an appropriate PART I^2. THE TRADITION OF ARCHITECTURE^46 reaction in science-based professions, architecture has had some difficulty in responding to this requirement of the building industry. The profession had either moved toward the division of labour in large firms emulating traditional hierarchical corporate structure (the stance of SOM) or in specializing in the formal aspects of architecture (the stance of Graves or Venturi). With the former, there is a tendency to bureaucratize the design process, thus limiting creative response. With the latter, there is a tendency to ignore the social aspects of the profession by focussing entirely on the aesthetics - the only area left over which the architect exercises autonomous control. Given the nineteenth century argument against professionalization, institutionally architects have not been able to address the growth of formalism in terms of the legislative acts that govern architects. Instead they have moved toward a greater focus on governing the business aspects of the profession. The recent focus on issues of advertising, marketing, and the architect's involvement in development are illustrations of the institutional interest in governing these business concerns. Within that framework, however, there are many other professionals who are competing for the same territory. As a result there has been a growing tendency, for the institute, to attempt to protect that area of professional interest from further erosion. A consequence of that protectionism has been increased policing of the membership. While it is difficult to exercise control over those people on the outside (without resorting to expensive legal action), the institute can make some headway in the public sphere by making sure that those members of the institute adhere scrupulously to the regulations. Since the rationale for the existence of the legislative acts governing professions is ostensibly the protection of the public from incompetent behaviour on the part of the untrained and unregistered or the unscrupulous PART I^2. THE TRADITION OF ARCHITECTURE^47 behaviour of those who are registered, it is important that the institutional response to the practitioner meet the letter of the prevailing law. This prevailing law will tend to become progressively more exclusionary as other specialists further erode the area of practice governed by architects. Unfortunately, since it cannot legislate the aesthetic aspects of the profession - the only area over which the architect has actual or even publicly perceived control - the institutions have few options available outside of progressive exclusion. Early in this process of professionalization, Walter Gropius sensed this dilemma, as did Morris (in another context) before him. Like Nathaniel Owings of SOM, who professed an interest in emulating the Gothic builders, both Gropius and Morris admired the spiritual unity, the sense of common purpose and the relationship of the designer to the craft and the site. Unlike Morris, though, Gropius was not a Luddite. He was not looking for the return to a preindustrial era. Rather, he found the modern industrial world a source of inspiration (as did Le Corbusier and the Futurists). This inspiration resulted in the development of the Bauhaus as a centre of experimental training in design. Bauhaus training required "a broad, co-ordinating mind, not the narrow specialist." (Gropius, [1962]:20) Further, he saw the problems associated with formalism as well as those with business. "Our conception of the basic unity of all design in relation to life was in diametric opposition to that of 'art for art's sake' and the much more dangerous philosophy it sprang from, business as an end in itself." (Gropius, [1962]:20) The intention of the Bauhaus was to establish a rational basis for design and to remove the distinction between the fine arts and applied arts or crafts. In all of this, the PART I^2. THE TRADITION OF ARCHITECTURE^48 focus was to be the spiritual and material needs of humankind. To accommodate that focus, students should be trained to work in teams. Collaboration was to be an important hallmark not only for the Bauhaus but for the development, some 40 years later of The Architects Collaborative. "The architect of the future - if he wants to rise to the top again - will be forced by the trend of events to draw closer once more to the building production. If he will build up a closely co-operating team together with the engineer, the scientist and the builder, then design, construction and economy may again become an entity - a fusion of art, science and business" (Gropius, [19621:74) Reminiscent of the Egyptian trinity of Seshat, Thot and Ptah, Gropius saw the role of the architect as a coordinator "of all efforts in building up man's physical surroundings" (Gropius, [19621:76). But, following the example of the Gothic, this coordination could not occur within the framework of the cult of the individual, but only through teamwork. A fundamental difference between his approach to the Gothic and that of Morris, Ruskin or Pugin, was, aside from an acceptance of the machine, the complete secularization of art. Where, for his predecessors, art could not be disassociated from morality, religion or politics, for Gropius the 'spiritual revolution' that he sought was in scientific rationalism. For Gropius and the other moderns: "Ethics . . . meant truth in the use of materials, not general morality; social betterment was equated with healthy living conditions, not political liberty; economics meant efficiency in production, not the welfare of the individual in industrial society . . •" (Boyle, 1977:342) PART I^2. THE TRADITION OF ARCHITECTURE^49 The modernists had an abiding concern for the role that architecture played in society, but their belief in scientific rationalism as a response to social conditions was clearly inadequate. Le Corbusier's statement at the end of Towards a New Architecture, "Architecture or Revolution. Revolution can be avoided." exemplified this belief in the ability of architecture to determine society's behaviour and its future. In this sense, the modernists were not that far removed from Pugin and Ruskin. For the postmodernists, however, that belief has been abandoned with Venturi's admonition that architects should just do their job and leave these other relationships to those people better suited to them. Concurrent with these shifts in architectural theory, the practice of architecture has shifted steadily towards business. The onset of professionalism placed architecture squarely in the business world with all of the logic of its organization and motivation. Like the business model and like the formalist model of architecture, the new profession became self-referential. The concept of service to society came to be service to the profession itself. ". . . architects in modern America indeed came to terms with the facts of industry and commerce, but typically at the cost of their ethical responsibilities as independent professionals. The ethics of the individual architect were replaced by the ethics of the architectural office, and the more the architectural office resembled businesses in general, the more did its ethics resemble those of the business world." (Boyle, 1977:342) Combined with the fundamentally commercial nature of the formalist stance, which, in itself rejected any sense of responsibility to social ideals, "the new profession of architecture replaced the ideals of society with the ideals of the profession itself." (Boyle, 1977:334) PART I^2. THE TRADITION OF ARCHITECTURE^50 In all of these different streams of architecture - business, theory, craft - there is a separation from society and an increasing reduction in the relevance of architecture beyond its usefulness as a marketing tool or as a personal statement of individual artistry. The question that remains unanswered is: 'what is built and for whom?' This raises the issue of the use towards which resources are put. It is an issue of both politics and ethics. Ignoring it, as Venturi suggests, "by narrowing his concerns and concentrating on his own job" 14 does not answer the question, it only places it out of the range of the architect's influence. Cuff suggests that, "to ignore the social context within which buildings are designed is counterproductive for all parties involved, most assuredly for architects. By devaluing the conditions that frame the creative process, a spectrum of constraints and opportunities are overlooked and removed from the potential control of the architect." (Cuff, 1991:56) That social context involves an understanding of the responsibilities that professionals have to society and how they respond to those responsibilities. 14. Taking quite another stance, Che Guevara speaking at the UIA Congress in Havana in 1963 said: "Technology can be used to subjugate the people or it can be used to liberate them . . . And whoever says that a technician of whatever sort, be he an architect, doctor, engineer, scientist, etc., needs solely to work with his instruments in his chosen specialty, while his countrymen are starving or wearing themselves out in the struggle, has de facto gone over to the other side. He is not a political; he has taken a political decision, but one opposed to the movements for liberation . . ." (in Comerio & Protzen, 1982:4) PART I^3. ARCHITECTURE & RIGHT ACTION^51 CHAPTER 3 ARCHITECTURE AND RIGHT ACTION ". . . you are not a profession that has distinguished itself by your social and civic contributions to the cause of civil rights, and I am sure this does not come to you as any shock. You are most distinguished by your thunderous silence and your complete irrelevance. Whitney Young, Jr. (1968:47) There is an ethical environment in which all professions operate. In their decision-making process, professionals are affected by events or conditions that are beyond their control yet they must make responsible decisions. That responsibility is integral to the concept of professionalism. The awareness the conditions that affect decisions and of the tools for making responsible decisions is important to the professional. The architect functions in the arena of development - a rather broad term that can refer to anything from an addition to a house to the planning of cities. The responsibilities that the architect must carry result from the parameters that come with development. Doctors, for example, are faced with other responsibilities and the discipline that studies and refines them is bioethics. In architecture, this field does not yet exist. However, the issues of ethics and development must be addressed by professionals. In so doing, a number of issues must be examined: the role of architecture in society, the responsibilities of the profession, the professional and the PART I^3. ARCHITECTURE & RIGHT ACTION^52 person, the parameters of development, and the basic needs that architectural expertise can address. 3.1. THE ROLE OF ARCHITECTURE In addressing the annual convention of the AIA in 1968, Whitney Young, Jr., then executive director of the Urban League, presented the assembled professionals with a challenge. While the ghettoes of New Jersey, Detroit, Watts and other cities across the United States were being set aflame, Mr. Young seemed to be suggesting to the architects of America that their silence on these social issues of the urban environment was, or should be, a source of some shame for professionals. The AIA, for its part, was not entirely silent. There were some in its membership that were active in the streets of the cityl. The majority, though, in architectural circles were headed in quite another direction. In the midst of the social revolution of the sixties, Robert Venturi issued his 'Gentle Manifesto'2. Certainly this was not the first time that an architect has paused to reflect 1. The AIA supported the development of ARCH, the first community design centre, in Harlem in 1964 not only with money but with institutional support that enabled ARCH to seek additional funding from foundations as well as government. Their formal involvement in Community Design Centres began only after the 1969 convention that established the Task Force on Professional Responsibility to Society. 2. Venturi's Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture was first published in 1966. His self-described 'gentle manifesto' related entirely to design issues rather than, more typical of manifestos, social issues. As an address to the severity of the Modern Movement, this book created the underpinnings for the rise of Post-Modernism. See also 2.3.3. PART I^3. ARCHITECTURE & RIGHT ACTION^53 on the nature of architecture and its relationship to society. In this century alone, from Adolph Loos and his contentious opinions about ornament and crime, to the modernist search for a Platonic architecture that would take society beyond mere style, architects have been looking for the architectural answer to society's salvation. What made Complexity and Contradiction unusual in this litany of manifestos is that it ran in quite the opposite direction to the temper of the times and yet, for such a modest exercise, it seemed to redirect, almost single-handedly, architectural design for the next 20 years. Now, with the dissolution of Post-Modernism in poststructuralist hermeticism (see McLeod, 1989), and with the further fragmentation of the profession into divisive roles in business or theory or academics, it is perhaps time for further reflection on the role that the architectural profession can or should play in society. In North America, both the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) and the AIA have initiated discussions, both from within and outside the profession, on the role of the architect in society, the former with its Inquiry into the Role of the Architect and the latter with Vision 2000. Despite recent statistical evidence otherwise (Gutman, 1988:3-8), architects would appear to be involved in an ever-decreasing percentage of the built environment. As their professional role is narrowed by a growing army of specialists in all facets of this work, architects seem to be relegated to the facades department of the corporate structure. The marketability of formalism is hardly a new development, though, in architecture. In Britain, after 1820, architects were often called upon by builders "to make elevations as a selling point for the builder or to enforce conformity on behalf of the proprietor." (Saint, 1983:60) Such precedents, though, are hardly consoling to many PART I^3. ARCHITECTURE & RIGHT ACTION^54 professionals today - notwithstanding the stature that Graves or Venturi have reached in such roles. It is still not a satisfying pursuit for the mythic image of the heroic individual architect/artist battling the philistines of pop culture and crass business interests. Mr. Young's reference to the irrelevance of the profession, no doubt, invoked a certain level of apprehension in the architects at the conference. But the fear of irrelevance can be a powerful motivating force in generating change in the profession. Opportunities can arise out of the search for change but it is entirely possible for these fears to lead to impotence or to the pursuit of short-sighted goals. Those firms that have not been shocked into the passive resistance to change are now hiring marketing staff not only to sell the services of the firm but to read and analyze demographic statistics in order to find those new market niches for architectural services. Should we be specializing in retirement housing? Or health care for the aging? What does the public want, anyway? What about smart buildings? Or 'green' buildings? Can we get the jump on our competition by specializing in one of these areas and meeting the needs of new markets? With institutional inquiries by the AIA and the RAIC, some of the questions of practice can be answered through the investigation of market trends and polling. By means of a Lou Harris survey in the spring of 1988, Vision 2000 identified 27 social, technological, economic, environmental, political and professional trends after polling 201 people inside and outside the design industry. Predating the efforts by the AIA, the RAIC initiated in 1984 a more introspective study. Their inquiry arose out of the omission of architecture from the 1983 Applebaum-Hebert Commission on federal cultural policy. Out of this PART I^3. ARCHITECTURE & RIGHT ACTION^55 oversight a number of questions arose within the profession. Did the Commission not consider that architecture to be part of Canadian culture? Despite the fact that the federal government is one of the major consumers of architectural services, did it not consider that there might be some need for a federal policy regarding architecture? If these representatives of the Canadian public found architecture an invisible force or an irrelevant force, what must the Canadian public itself think of architecture and its practitioners? Perhaps they don't think of architects at all. If that is the case, is architecture in danger of becoming completely marginalized? If so, that market niche for which firms so avidly search may be diminishing even more quickly than the profession believed. These pragmatic concerns of survival as a business, as important as they are, must be seen within a context. Architects are not selling widgets for whatever the market will bear. They are providing a service to society. When the profession considers the context within which it works, it considers goals in a different way than does the widget manufacturer. If society loses interest in widgets, the manufacturer either changes the product or goes out of business. Although these conditions also apply to the architectural profession, - and these RAIC and AIA inquiries into trends and changing roles are strong evidence of the application of such conditions - an additional and more fundamental consideration applies: the responsibility that the profession has to society. Because of these responsibilities or obligations, the goals of the profession as a whole are not like sales projections or the search for new markets. They must be broader than that and they must be immutable. Professional organizations from law to library science distinguish themselves from other vocations by the setting PART I^3. ARCHITECTURE & RIGHT ACTION^56 out of codes of conduct and responsibility (see Gorlin, 1987). As an example one immediately thinks of the icon of professional declarations, the Hippocratic Oath (see Appendix B), which enjoins the medical profession to a responsibility to its apprentices and to society as a whole. This traditional oath is some 22 centuries old and, while some of its language might now be considered obsolete, its basic precepts have held up remarkably well. There are two parts to the oath: the relationship between the apprentice and the teacher followed by the ethical code which describes the relationship between the professional and both his client and society as a whole. From this foundation one can begin to judge specifics of ethical behaviour within the profession. Outside, society as a whole can develop expectations of the profession. Out of this a moral heritage arises; that is, "the devotion of professional skills to meeting the needs of client groups and, ultimately, to the common good." (Reeck, 1982:38) Does such a moral heritage exist in architecture? Surely we would like to believe it does. One expects that, at its foundation, this would be the case for any profession and that this heritage and attendant obligations are the distinguishing characteristics between a profession and a craft. Another distinguishing feature of professions, is one that the sociologist E.C. Hughes put forward as "guilty knowledge"3 or knowledge that can be seen as dangerous in the hands of people without the moral heritage of professions. In addition, 3.^Reeck gives the example of guilty knowledge: "The surgeon, for instance, has 'guilty knowledge', because he can remove an organ from a living body . . . the psychological therapist can shape the human mind . . . [Professionals] are ones whose decisions potentially have enormous, even frightful, impact on other human beings and on the environment." (Reeck, 1982:17) PART I^3. ARCHITECTURE & RIGHT ACTION^57 "they presume to tell society what is good and right for the individual and for society at large in some aspect of life. Indeed, they set the very terms in which people may think about this aspect of life." (Hughes, 1958:79) Professionals have been commissioned by society to use this knowledge to make decisions that have potentially dangerous and significant implications both for human beings and their environment. They are, "exempted from the 'guilt' and . . . as an assurance of meriting such exemption, such specialists are expected to have a more rigorous ethic, to be more client-oriented in the conduct of services to the client, and to control the entry and training of novices so that these concerns about the responsible use of guilty knowledge remain central in the practice of the occupation. These are the occupations traditionally known as the 'professions'." (Herrick, 1978:2) Society entrusts the professional with the formidable responsibility of using this knowledge for the welfare of society. In turn, "every profession is legitimated by the good faith it keeps with the people it serves." (Smith & Churchill, 1986:85) Under those circumstances ethics becomes an imperative of professional tradition, not a luxury better suited to late-night reflection. Without a constructive ethical standard, the professional can, and occasionally does, lapse into exploitive behaviour in using his/her specialized knowledge. The depths of exploitive behaviour were based on two conditions: the absence of a constructive ethical standard and the narrow definition of the professional as being merely technically competent. During the Second World War, the death camps exterminated millions, PART I^3. ARCHITECTURE & RIGHT ACTION^58 • . . under the most rationally planned and controlled conditions. The goal was to exact the greatest output of labor for the smallest input of food, clothing, and services. . . . even more poignant than the sheer magnitude of the slaughter is the fact that professionals were largely responsible for the planning of the atrocity. The agents of death were not simply Nazi thugs. Management professionals were involved through the I.G. Auschwitz Company, a subsidiary of the I.G. Farben Corporation. Medical professionals examined and classified prisoners, selecting those for work in particular occupations. They helped to determine the maximum output obtainable at the least expense. (Reeck, 1982:25-6) Architects, most notably Albert Speer, were also professionally involved in these atrocities. As Speer remarked, "For the commission to do a great building, I would have sold my soul like Faust." (Speer, 1971:62) Similarly, Mies van der Rohe who worked at both ends of the political spectrum in his early career provoked the comment by Philip Johnson, "How apolitical can you get? If the devil himself offered Mies a job he would take it." (Jencks, 1973:40). Clearly, technical expertise is not a moral agent here. Nor is artistry. This 'guilty' knowledge can be directed towards enabling or exploiting society. It is only when we develop and maintain our moral heritage through professional ethics that this expertise can be used for enabling ends. The recognition of our moral heritage only begins to address the question of social responsibility of professionals. If we agree that this heritage exists for architecture as it does in medicine, what are the implications for right action within the profession? How do we define right action? Does a common moral heritage exist for a profession, and, in particular, for architecture? PART I^3. ARCHITECTURE & RIGHT ACTION^59 3.2 PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES Architecture is one of the most urgent needs of man, for the house has always been the indispensable and first tool that he has forged for himself. Le Corbusier ([1970]:17) Perfection of tools, but confusion of aims are characteristic of our time. Einstein (in Gropius, 1968:4) In September 1990 a formal complaint was lodged with three Provincial Associations of Professional Engineers by the environmental organization, Probe International. The complaint was against B.C. Hydro International, Lavalin International, Hydro-Quebec International, Acres International and SNC., Canadian consulting firms forming a consortium know as CIPM Yangtze Joint Venture. This consortium prepared the $14 million feasibility study of the Three Gorges Dam in central China. Probe accused the consortium of "glossing over environmental concerns, ignoring significant costs and exaggerating the benefits of the project." (Farrow, 1990) Their criticism went on to say that , " the consortium, by concluding that the Three Gorges Dam is technically, environmentally and economically feasible, has violated the professional engineering code of ethics and has been professionally negligent." (Farrow, 1990) In their letter to the Association of Professional Engineers governing each of these firms, Probe stated explicitly that: ". . . we believe our critique [Damming the Three Gorges: What Dam Builders Don't Want You To Know] illustrates violations of the Code of Ethics, as amended August 1990 in the Engineers and Geoscientists Act of British Columbia [see Appendix C], including: section 1(a) which states "He [the Engineer] will be realistic . . . in the PART I^3. ARCHITECTURE & RIGHT ACTION^60 preparation of all estimates, reports, statements and testimony;" section 1(b) which states "He will not distort . . . facts in an attempt to justify his decisions or avoid his responsibilities;" section 2 which states "The engineer will have proper regard for the safety, health and welfare of the public in the performance of his professional duties. He will regard his duty to the public safety and health as paramount;" and section 2(d) which states "He will guard against conditions which are dangerous or threatening to the environment and he will seek to ensure that all standards required by law for environmental control are met." All of these principles, we believe, have been violated by the consortium in its conduct of the Three Gorges Water Control Project Feasibility Study." (Probe, 1990) This action by Probe should give design professionals some pause for thought on the responsibilities that they have beyond those directly related to their clients. Professionals make a bond with society. This bond is usually expressed in a declaration by the prospective member. Like the Hippocratic Oath, this declaration has a number of common elements dealing with the designer's responsibility to his/her client, to the profession and to society at large. For example, Article 9 of the Bylaws of the Architectural Institute of British Columbia states: "Solemnly do I declare that having read and understood the Act of the Architectural Institute of British Columbia, its Bylaws and Regulations, and having passed the examinations, I am eligible for membership. Further do I announce that I will uphold professional aims, and the art, and the science, of architecture and thereby improve the environment. I also accept with obligation the need to further my education as an architect. I promise now that my professional conduct as it concerns the community, my work, and my fellow architects will be governed by the ethics and the tradition of this honourable and learned profession.(AIBC, 1990:4) PART I^3. ARCHITECTURE & RIGHT ACTION^61 This oath must be taken by all prospective members of the profession and it is administered by the provincial body that regulates those who may legitimately hold themselves out to the public as "architects". In this way, the public has some assurance that those people calling themselves architects have met educational and professional standards that provide some protection of the public good. But what commitment does the professional make to the public, to society, through the oath? It makes only oblique references to the obligations of the architect to society. The only two references to the world at large are: "improve the environment" and "professional conduct as it concerns the community". In each of these instances those larger responsibilities are referred back to the profession and its governing body. In other words, the oath does not suggest that we have an obligation to improve the environment, only that we should uphold the professional aims of architecture and, by doing so, one of the results of this action will be an improvement to the environment. Similarly, concern for the community is subsumed by the ethics and tradition of the profession. In other words, if the architect follows the tradition of the profession, s/he will fulfill this concern for the community. This tradition and ethical conduct, though, is entirely rooted in two basic areas: the relations between architects and the presentation of technical competence to the public at large. The latter obligation is highlighted in the oath by reference to the obligation to further one's "education as an architect". To this end, the Provincial bodies governing the practice of architecture regularly hold Professional Development courses that cover a variety of aspects of practice such as: technical details (the application of vapour barriers and insulation, for example), jurisdictional issues (zoning and building bylaws), management techniques PART I^3. ARCHITECTURE & RIGHT ACTION^62 (office practice, marketing), and legal issues (construction law, liability). In British Columbia, the Oath is the only area in which this particular obligation is registered. There is no further mention of it in either the Act or the Bylaws. At the national level, the RAIC has recognized the requirement for continuing education. "Conscientious effort with respect to continuing education, whatever the source, is a basic necessity for every Architect. Keeping abreast of change, as well as renewing knowledge gained earlier, is important to the ability of an Architect to offer a viable service to the public, and to do credit to his profession." (RAIC, 1977:3) This renewal of knowledge tends to focus on the technique of practice rather than the broader issues of the professional's relationship to society at large (except insofar as it relates to issues of liability). Nowhere in the By-laws or the provincial Architect's Act is there any direct reference to a professional's broader obligations to society. Indeed if we look at Articles 30 - 34 of the Bylaw, under the title "Professional Ethics" (see Appendix D), - a place we might expect to see these broader obligations outlined - we see reference only to rules for advertising, actions that constitute conflict of interest, rules governing the competition for work between architects and the professional conduct of architects. All of these bylaws outline the way architects are to conduct themselves in public, but, unlike the quoted Code of Ethics of the Professional Engineers, it does not delineate the architect's obligations to the public. In the area of 'conduct', for example, the clause states: "All Architects are expected to conduct their affairs in a competent and professional manner, and refrain from acts which would reflect unfavourably on the profession as a whole." (AIBC, 1990:12) PART I^3. ARCHITECTURE & RIGHT ACTION^63 The extent of competency remains undefined by the bylaws, but, aside from the legal definition concerning mental fitness, competency may be taken here to mean a working familiarity with current issues of technique (as described above) and as required by the Examining Board of the Institute 4 . "Professional manner" is likewise undefined, but can be taken to mean conduct that exhibits the training that defines the professional; that is, those areas of competence defined by the educational requirements delineated by the Canadian Architectural Certification Board and as outlined by the requirements of the Examining Board of the Provincial Institute. Of equal importance in this sentence, though, is the admonition to refrain from acts that will reflect unfavourably on the profession. Again, the emphasis of conduct concern the actions of the professional in public, not the relationship of his/her actions to the public. The Bylaws of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of the Province of British Columbia, by comparison, state, as Probe indicated above: "The engineer will have proper regard for the safety, health and welfare of the public in the performance of his professional duties. He will regard his duty to the public safety and health as paramount . . . He will seek opportunities to work for the advancement of the safety, health and welfare of his community. (Section 14.2, Code of Ethics) 4.^The Examining Board reviews the Experience Record of the candidate for registration, along with the results of the professional examinations. All of these requirements are focussed on areas of technical competence (see Appendix E) such as: Project analysis, Schematic Designs, Design Development, Construction Documents, Administration of Construction Contracts, Cost Planning Control, Coordination of Consultants, Tender Award, Office Administration. (see AIBC "Architect in Training Program: Outline of Performance Requirements", 1983. PART I^3. ARCHITECTURE & RIGHT ACTION^64 Here the professional's responsibilities to the public are made explicit. These responsibilities are seen to be overriding. While the engineer will use technical expertise to meet those responsibilities to the public, it is clear that that expertise is in service to the public. At no point do the Bylaws of the Architectural Institute make explicit this overriding duty. The references, instead, typically refer to the architect's decorum in public and the competent execution of his/her technical skills. Does society have the right to expect any more than technical competence and public decorum from a profession? When a legislative act is passed that creates a profession, what does it expect in return? Through professional associations, society can expect certain things from members of that profession5. The least of these expectations involves technical competence. While professional organizations often begin with broad aims concerning obligations to society and the protection of the public good, these aims are expressed by the profession specifically through technical expertise. This expertise is directed first towards the paying client, and then towards society at large. When a member of the design profession is accused of professional negligence, generally, s/he is considered to have been responsible for a technical failure in the building's performance. These failures range from improper flashing details to building failure. 5.^What society can or should expect from the professional is addressed in 2.4. The examples that follow in Chapters 4 - 8 also give some indication of the extent of those expectations. However, as Blau points out, "the profession continues to resist a definition of its boundaries and internal specialization." (Blau, 1984:7) PART I^3. ARCHITECTURE & RIGHT ACTION^65 The Probe action implies that there is far more to professional obligations and therefore to professional negligence than technical expertise and building performance. Their argument strongly suggests a larger responsibility than fealty to one's client and technical competence. By implication, it proposes that the responsibility the design professional owes to society must take priority over the responsibility to the specific client. In this they agree with the Association of Professional Engineers in considering that the engineer must "regard his duty to the public safety and health as paramount." This raises questions about the nature of the design professional's responsibilities and towards whom they are directed. What are these responsibilities? In considering this question, the role of the design professional in society cannot be seen in isolation. We are all human beings acting in the world. Our actions as professionals are also actions as human beings. Technical competence, then, as a professional is only part of the responsibility that we assume in and towards society. There are other, broader, responsibilities. In all, these professional responsibilities might be divided into four general areas: 1. The responsibilities that arise out of birth. 2. The responsibilities that arise out of knowledge. 3. The responsibilities that arise from the profession. 4. The responsibilities to one's self. 6. McLachlin points out further that where a conflict arises between the public concern and the specific concerns of the paying client, the engineer is expected by this oath to discontinue any course of action that is harmful to the environment. (McLachlin & Wallace, 1987:38) PART I^3. ARCHITECTURE & RIGHT ACTION^66 Of these, only the third is covered by the traditional expectations of the profession. What are these other responsibilities? What is the relationship between them, if any? How does one fulfill these obligations? 3.3. BIRTH If you want to make use of the advantages of civilization, but are not prepared to concern yourself with upholding civilization - you are done. Ortega (1957:88) Some obligations are thrust upon us. By the accident of birth, many professionals were born in and/or work in the industrialized nations, countries of great wealth. This wealth was acquired, typically, at some considerable expense to the physical and social environment. In addition to having such enormous resources at our disposal, we, as design professionals, often have the power to influence how these resources are utilized. Available resources can be used efficiently or wastefully. They can be used to advance the welfare of society or to impede it. Because the flow of these resources and the influence of power can be felt transnationally, these obligations, too, flow beyond borders. Such statements are easily said but poorly understood, particularly in the face of the mystery of birth. The accident of birth leaves some children beginning their lives picking through piles of garbage in the outskirts of Manila, selling trinkets in the streets of Jakarta or their bodies in Bangkok. Some children are born, through no fault of their own, into injustice. Others are born, through no PART I^3. ARCHITECTURE & RIGHT ACTION^67 divine right, into privilege. The privileged accept as 'rights' - that is, society's responsibility to individuals - those opportunities for which others often must fight and die. While we are not responsible for having been born into such privilege, do we, as a result of such serendipity, have the fundamental responsibility as human beings to use the advantages and opportunities afforded us to resolve these persistent inequities? I believe we do. As members of a world community, we, as individuals, communities and nations, have obligations to the social and physical environment that we all share. As members of the resource-rich minority in that world community, the obligations towards distributive justice should rest with those of us who have rather than those who have not. In simple terms, those of us who have been taking out of the collection plate, have an obligation to put something back in. There are some contentious implications in these statements. Among them are: the notion that the possession of wealth and resources carries with it an ethical imperative; the conclusion that we have been taking out of a "collection plate"; and the concept of equity as socially meaningful. These contentious implications must be addressed through a series of steps. A relationship must be established between inequity and the use of resources. This inequity must be seen to exist for reasons other than simply laziness, unfortunate geographic or climatic choices on the part of the poor (3.3.1). Acting justly will be argued as the fulfillment of basic needs (3.3.2). These needs, in turn, should be seen as human rights (3.3.3). The recognition of these human rights gives rise to the concept of distributive justice (3.3.4). With the acknowledgment of distributive justice and these rights comes a basic responsibility PART I^3. ARCHITECTURE & RIGHT ACTION^68 (3.3.5). When a claim for rights is made, a corresponding duty is implied. Among those upon whom this duty falls are those who have the resources to distribute. 3.3.1^Inequity Does inequity exist? At first glance the question would appear to be ridiculous or, at best rhetorical. The word, though, presumes injustice or unfairness. It is with this implication that the rationale for the status quo arises. When reference is made to the inordinate command of resources that is granted to the 26 percent of the population in the First World - 80 percent of the world's commercial energy, 85 percent of the world's supply of paper and so on (WCED, 1987:33) - it is entirely possible to conclude that these figures do not represent inequity but rather the rightful rewards of hard work, of industrialization and capitalism. In such a scenario, the poor of the world - the other 74 percent of the population - can be seen as simply unlucky enough to have been born in a location that does not have as healthy a share of the world's raw resources in its waters or its soil. The poor may also have their condition characterized by "their lack of educated personnel, entrepreneurial spirit, expertise and capital, and [by] corruption." (Trainer, 1985:114) These conditions can be seen as self-inflicted. This argument would suggest that the status of the poor is no more unfair than is the self-inflicted sickness of the habitual smoker. Does this characterization stand up to examination? There are persistent facts of inequity that present another picture. Among these are: - foreign aid and debt - structural adjustment PART I^3. ARCHITECTURE & RIGHT ACTION^69 - environmental degradation and the poor - development .1)  Foreign Aid and Debt - Our philosophical concepts of liberalism are poorly reflected in the policies that implement our sense of justice. It is here that economics governs. In the industrialized nations it is commonly believed that, through 'foreign aid', we are acting philanthropically. We are thought to be sharing our technology, our food, and our trained professionals with the destitute of the Third World. In this way distributive justice is achieved. Often, this is referred to in the media as 'Western generosity' and commonly thought of as charity. What occurs, in fact, could hardly be described as philanthropic or generous. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) described the debt of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in this way: The LDCs experienced a very rapid growth of external indebtedness during the 1970s as a result of severe external imbalances. As this was not matched by an improvement in their general economic situation, debt service obligations become increasingly burdensome. The LDCs' debt situation worsened considerably in the 1980s when the world economic crisis added to the vulnerability of their debt servicing capacity already exacerbated by their structurally limited export base. Global recession reduced demand for their exports, which consisted mainly of primary commodities. Escalating debt service obligations from borrowings in earlier years, compounded by falling export earnings and rising import costs, exerted severe pressure on the LDCs' balances of payments. (UNCTAD,1987:124) There are arguments and recriminations as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the leaders of debtor states look for someone to blame for this vicious cycle of PART I^3. ARCHITECTURE & RIGHT ACTION^70 impoverishment. Did it arise from a binge of borrowing or a binge of lending? There is considerable evidence now that it was the latter. Commercial lending institutions, which today carry most of the exposure for these debts, actively courted this risk. In the 1970s banks had sought to make a quick killing by lending reserves swollen by petrodollars to Latin America ($257-billion) and Africa ($134.8 billion). At that time - from 1974-80 - the lending climate looked rosy: interest rates on developing country loans averaged 10.7 per cent and exports of non-oil exporting developing countries were expanding at 21 per cent. (Bindra, 1990) As UNCTAD outlined, though, there was a rather vicious bottom line. The growth of exports from developing countries declined to an annual rate of 1 per cent. Interest rates climbed. The oil prices dropped. Suddenly the promise of a miraculous drive to an industrialized economy that could generate the capital to pay down these debts did not materialize. As a result the balances of payments reached the point that in 1987 there was a net flow of financial resources from the developing countries to industrialized countries of $43 billion (US). In 1988 that increased to $50 billion. (Head, 1989b) The response of the commercial lending institutions shifted quickly from courtship in the 70's to rejection in the 80's. Many of these financial institutions have now written off their Third World loans, with suggestions like those of Donald Fullerton, the president of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, that the Less Developed Countries, "are far less important to the world economy than was believed a few years ago. . . . In other words there are a lot of very interesting things going on in the world, and the banks see many exciting and profitable opportunities within their reach PART I^3. ARCHITECTURE & RIGHT ACTION^71 which do not involve adding to the LDC exposure." (D. Smith, 1989) In writing off these debts, the banks have, ". . . literally written off those societies and those economies, foregoing their own responsibility for the original loans and for high interest rates, abandoning any prospect of future business profit - all this in order to preserve the absolute purity of the concept of debt? . . ." (Head, 1989b) The banks would claim - do, in fact, claim - that they are not philanthropic enterprises. They are running businesses. Certainly that cannot be disputed and while this is not the place to raise the issue of the ethical responsibilities of business to society, it is unfortunate that their stance seems to be reflected in the policies of First World governments which are now engaged in cutting financial aid to the Third World while bailing out the banks that initiated these awkward investments7. The hoped-for goal of 0.7% of the GNP directed towards aid - a target that arose out the 1969 Pearson Commission and meant to be achieved by 1975 (Browne, 1990:23)- has now been reduced by the Canadian government to a target of .47% by 1995 (Todd, 1991). In the face of these consistent reductions, the already destitute debtor nations of the Third World are sending what little they have left to the financial institutions of the First World. Stephen Lewis referred to this condition in terms of equity: You have 25% of the world using 70-80% of the world's resources, having all of the world's 7.^In Canada, federal tax regulations have allowed the banks "to claim more than $3 billion in tax relief" as a result of the losses from these bad debts to Third World countries (Brent Jang, "Hope seen for Canadian banks' Third World loans", Vancouver Sun, 22JUL91 PART I^3. ARCHITECTURE & RIGHT ACTION^72 riches; and when enormously vulnerable countries come to you for some relief, you exact the last penny of interest as though you couldn't survive without it. The donor countries could forgive the African debt tomorrow morning and never even know it was gone. We lost on the stock exchange on one famous Monday in October 1987 ten times the entire African debt. And you will notice that capitalism is still limping along. There is something rotten at the core of a system that behaves so insensitively and punitively towards countries which are in the precise process of responding to every admonition and every requirement laid upon them. (Lewis, 1988:5) The myth that 'foreign aid' in any way satisfactorily meets the need for equity, fails to understand that the South is not able indefinitely to pay its debts, buy our goods, protect our environment, respect our values and refrain from destabilizing our world. (Head, 1989b) There are, in addition to the obvious implications to this debt burden, further hidden costs that arise out of destabilization. A recent study indicated that the brain drain out of the Third World exacerbates the debt burden. "Although the international mobility of scientists is an important way of exchanging expertise, under the present setup the underdeveloped nations are currently the net losers in this exchange," Professor Alan Smithers of the University of Manchester told a Royal society of Chemistry conference. (Reuters, 1991) This study indicated that over the period of 1967 to 1985 there was an estimated transfer of $51 billion (US) in human capital from India to the United States. Typically immigration policy in First World countries supports this brain drain by restricting immigration to those with specialized skills. UNCTAD recognized this in 1970 when their research uncovered that "some developing countries lose between 20 and 70 per cent of their annual output of PART I^3. ARCHITECTURE & RIGHT ACTION^73 doctors." At that time it was calculated that while the value of this brain drain to the US economy amounted to some $3.7 billion, the value of US aid in 1970 amounted to $3.1 billion. (Reuters, 1991) Even before the debt crisis that began a decade later, there was a net outflow of capital from the Third World. As it stands, then, the rich countries of the North are draining the South of resources that it can least afford - knowledge and capital. Both of these resources are already in great abundance in the North. It is difficult, in the face of these circumstances, to resort to the argument that the poor are poor because they are inefficient and uneducated. These conditions exist as a result of inequity created by First World development policies. Unfortunately, the developed nations, through the agency of the World Bank and the IMF, exacerbate that inequity through the additional policy measure of structural adjustment. .2)  Structural adjustment - The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund initiated structural adjustment programs in 1979. These programs have tied the approval of Bank loans to the initiation by recipient governments of changes in their domestic economy that are expected to correct external deficits. In other words, to assist Third World governments to improve their balance of trade and the growth of their GNP, the World Bank - supported programs, . . . emphasized short-term restoration of balance of payments equilibrium and financial stability (as have IMF stabilization programs over several decades). Their objectives also included improvements in the incentive system and medium to long-term aggregate growth. (Zuckerman, 1989:2) Viewed in economic terms it makes a great deal of sense to repair these damaged economies by setting them on a path towards stability. Typically this will involve the PART I^3. ARCHITECTURE & RIGHT ACTION^74 government in redirecting its productive energies towards export commodities and in reducing its economic expenditures on the public sector. Once these economies are repaired and are in good health, they are then in a much better position to generate the capital to support social services such as health care and education, to create employment and to repay the interest on the outstanding loans that these governments have taken out. The thrust of the manipulations of the internal policies of the recipient countries was to "give emphasis to measures that raise the productivity of the poor rather than increase consumption through the provision of public services or government subsidies." (Balassa, 1981:2) In addition to a reduction in government spending on health and education, adjustment programmes would usually include the elimination of food subsidies, devaluation of currency (to discourage import consumption and encourage exports), increasing prices to power, water and transportation, restriction of credit along with higher taxes and interest rates. (George, 1988:52) In return for these conditions, the debtor countries "are rewarded by being allowed to spend the money that they receive on just about anything they like." (Hancock, 1989:56) As often as not, this funding went towards the purchase of arms or was directed towards personal spending sprees from the likes of Marcos or the equally profligate sprees of President Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire. While skimming "roughly 20 percent of all official foreign assistance to his country" (Dyck, 1990) to amass a personal estimated fortune of $3-billion, he dismissed in 1984 "7,000 teachers from the public school system for budgetary reasons" (Cornia, 1987:34) Zaire, or at least its government leader continues to receive adjustment funding. Mobutu remains, in fact, "the United States' principal African client" in large part because he seems "better than the visible alternatives." (Pfaff, 1990) While the World Bank officials continue to call for political reform, their PART I^3. ARCHITECTURE & RIGHT ACTION^75 interference in the affairs of state continues to be limited to economic policy. The wealthy of debtor nations are customarily protected from the ill effects of these adjustments to economic policies. Structural adjustment, however, raised a number of problems for the poor of Third World nations. In 1990 such economic reforms initiated in Zambia resulted in a 120% rise in the price of corn meal (Bryant, 1990). Riots ensued when this staple of their diet was effectively put out of reach of the poor. Twenty-seven people died and hundreds were injured. The senior vice-president of the World Bank, Moeen Qureshi, defended the Zambian government's efforts of economic reform and the need for debtor countries to begin to live within their means. While admitting that good governance is important to the successful economic management, he pointed out that "the bank's constitution prevents it from taking purely political factors into account." The political turmoil that resulted from the initiation of the adjustment policies, though, must be taken in stride. "There is no way, when the resources are extremely scarce, to protect everybody . . ." (Melly, 1990) In Peru after the IMF-sponsored stabilization policy was adopted in August of 1990, the price of bread increased by 1,150 percent overnight. The price of fuel increased by 2,968 percent. In the period immediately prior to the initiation of these policies, wages had compressed by 80 percent. (Chossudovsky, 1991) Under such conditions, it is not difficult to see a relationship between economic policy and the recent outbreak of cholera throughout South America. The major banks have maintained a credit embargo on Peru until such time as its external debt is considered to be under control. Until further limits are made to "future public investment in the very social sectors whose chronic PART I^3. ARCHITECTURE & RIGHT ACTION^76 deprivation has bred the present health crisis" 8 (Todd, 1991), the IMF, the World Bank, and the international financial community will continue to 'adjust' the Peruvian economy. In the remaining months of 1991 it was predicted that fatalities would reach more than 40,000 in the region. Under such circumstances, the 'entrepreneurial spirit' expected by the funding agencies to bring the poor out of their condition can hardly be expected to thrive. And without hope it will be difficult for the debtor nations to "grow out of debt" as the World Bank and the IMF expected as a result of these adjustment policies. Even if, under such dire conditions, the debtor nations could 'grow out of debt', they would be faced with debilitating and exacerbated environmental degradation - degradation that will affect not only the poor of the Third World, but the whole planet. .3)  Environmental Degradation - In an effort to improve their balance of trade some debtor nations are using their own countryside as a toxic waste dump for First World industrial waste. Nations in Africa, Central and South America as well as India and South Korea have been involved in such dumping attempts. Often the deals proposed are very difficult to resist. "In one deal, Guinea-Bisseau was offered $40 per tonne for 15 million tonnes of foreign industrial waste. The total payment of $600 million would have been four times the West African country's gross national product, and twice its foreign debt." (Mcllroy, 1989a) While many of the debtor nations have been offered hospitals, roads and medicine in return for the permission 8.^It is interesting to note that while civil spending is attacked, arms budgets are not largely because "such measures would be 'interfering in the internal affairs of sovereign nations'". (George, 1988:22) PART I^3. ARCHITECTURE & RIGHT ACTION^77 to dump this waste, some are now, like Nigeria, banning waste imports. In the face of such behaviour and with the burden of structural adjustment, the debtor nations are now faced with additional conditions on continued lending from the World Bank and other agencies. Barber Conable, president of the World Bank, proposed, at their 1989 annual meeting, that environmental impact assessments be sharply upgraded. This resulted from the increasing scrutiny that environmental organizations placed on the activities of the Bank and its lending policies (Gherson, 1989). It was argued that the Bank should be "using its leverage to promote better environmental policies in the same countries " that were undergoing structural adjustment (Mukherji, 1989) Spurred on by some of the more overwhelming despoliation that resulted from World Bank-aided projects in the energy, forestry and agricultural sectors (see Hancock, 1991; Adams & Solomon, 1985), environmentalists sought to temper these developmental excesses through impact assessments. As necessary as this environmental sensitivity is, though, the sources of environmental degradation are not in the Third World. The sources are located where industrial production, the use of automobiles, of refrigerants, of chemicals is the greatest - that is, the First World (see WCED, 1987; McIlroy, 1989b; Trainer, 1985). To add further conditions for Third World debtor nations on the lending of badly needed capital suggests a yet another level of imperialism - this time of a kind of environmental reductionism that relegates "the cause of social justice to the back burner" (Stanfield, 1991:6). Barber Conable said, "developing countries have been advised not to replicate the environmentally unsound policies and practices of the industrialized world. But unless such advice is accompanied by viable alternatives, it implies that developing countries should PART I^3. ARCHITECTURE & RIGHT ACTION^78 stagnate (while) the richest nations remain free to maintain their industry-based wealth. This is unacceptable." (Conable, 1989) So when the Chinese policy-makers say they want to see a fridge in every kitchen by the year 2000, this will mean an enormous increase in the production of CFCs unless there is a 'viable alternative'. Moral suasion is not likely to be an acceptable solution. While it is possible to replace CFCs as a refrigerant with more benign chemical formulations, the rights to these formulae are owned by private companies. Authorities in India and China have said that they are willing to use these replacement chemicals but "only if the rich nations pay for them." (McIlroy, 1989b) Knowing, as we do, that it is absolutely necessary to the survival of the planet that CFC production cease, are we willing to pay? .4)  Development - When we use the term development we would do well to consider what we mean by the term, and towards whom we direct it. A dictionary yields provocative definitions. One refers to growth and expansion and another refers to evolution and maturation. Often our concept of development has tended strongly towards the former at the expense of the latter. This idea of development as expansion favours the model perpetuated by the industrialized nations. The latter concept would tend to favour a more participatory development at the grassroots level. The former tends to view development both as philanthropic aid and as market expansion, the latter more as equal partnership. Behind these differing perceptions of the concept of development there are questions: development for whom and for what motivation? At a conference in the fall of 1990, Patricia Keays used as an example of the more traditional concept of development, a hunger project in Zimbabwe. The way the project was set up PART I^3. ARCHITECTURE & RIGHT ACTION^79 by the donor agency, the local people were faced with questions as to who was going to eat, what they could eat, and how much of it they might get. The terms were dictated by the funding agency to such an oppressive extent that the field workers decided finally that starvation was better than capitulation. What this said to her is that a 'development of transformation' was required and that transformative work needs to be undertaken by the 10% of the population that controls resources rather than the 90% of those who don't. There are two main points that fall out of this story: 1. that the "preoccupation with the project cycle, external controls and budgets are the trademarks of conventional development approaches." (Gohlert, 1991:8) This preoccupation does not function well at the field level. The priority of documentation often overtakes the priorities of the community itself. (see Hancock, 1991:124-128) 2. that unless people are involved directly in development what is undertaken is not development at all. Under such circumstances the poor become the objects of development; in effect, the vehicles for programs, projects and investment9. As a result, the 9.^With 78% of Canadian Overseas Development Aid (ODA) remaining in Canada (Keays, 1990), it is not difficult to see why the poor are necessary as vehicles of development. It is an approach that the government uses in its domestic housing delivery and is consistently used by Canadian government officials to inspire the Canadian public about aid. This represents not just the former stance of the government towards foreign aid (see Clarke & Swift, 1982:149-211), but their current thinking as well. The vice-president of CIDA, Lewis Perinbam was quoted in September of 1991: "It's time to regard international development as an investment rather than a public expenditure. It is the bridge to our future. For instance, the funds we have contributed to non-governmental organizations that take young Canadians to the far corners PART I^3. ARCHITECTURE & RIGHT ACTION^80 goals and priorities of development will vary widely depending on whom one asks. If the poor themselves are not included in the framing of priorities, as, typically, they are not, then those priorities will be skewed to meet the needs of the donor and recipient agencies. "As a Senegalese peasant commented after one mission of high-powered development experts had made a cursory tour of his village: 'They do not know that there are living people here.'" (Hancock, 1991:125) Our conventional development paradigm - in demanding the integration of local economies in the international market, in steadfastly burying the needs of the poor in a growth- centred, top-down model that exacerbates the disenfranchisement of communities - aggravates inequity. This model typifies governments' domestic policy in housing, as well (see Chapter 5). The privileged world in which we live is intimately tied to the economies and ultimately to the inequitable social conditions of the Third World. Our access to resources is gained at some expense. It does not arise inconsequentially out of nothing. The expenses of development are most often paid by the people who can least afford it - the poor of the Third World. It is difficult to justify or rationalize this imposed inequity when nearly half of the world cannot meet even its basic needs. of the globe have created a Canadian presence in more than 100 countries. They have opened doors for our private sector in countries where it would otherwise be unknown." (The Globe & Mail, 10 SEP 91) PART I^3. ARCHITECTURE & RIGHT ACTION^81 3.3.2.^Basic Needs There are two perceived levels of basic needs - the biophysical and the psychosocial. The former, or first stage, is a necessary element in sustaining life and is related to the minimum requirements of the family for private consumption. The latter, the second stage, is related to the essential services provided by the public sector. In 1948, the United Nations, in its Universal Declaration of Human Rights, spelled out those basic needs as food, clothing, housing, medical care, social services, security, education, dignity, and "the free development of [individual] personality. (McHale, 1978) The basic needs that are generally thought of as the first stage, the biophysical, are those of food, shelter, clothing and household goods. Those of the second stage, the psychosocial, are education, health, public transportation, sanitation and water supply. (ILO, 1981) These can only be supplied through the intervention of some higher authority or social organization. When the state or the community is unable or unwilling to provide these basic rights for its citizens, then that responsibility passes on to those organizations that can realize these rights and meet the basic needs of the community. In addition to those infrastructural needs, the second stage encompasses a wider range of individual needs such as security, dignity and self-actualization (McHale, 1978; Nevis, 1984) These needs, too, arise out of society and the individual's relationship to it. They are difficult, if not impossible, to quantify. Nonetheless, they exist within this hierarchy of basic needs. Food, water and shelter are more fundamental than self-actualization - after all, one must be alive to be able to consider one's dignity and self-actualization - but both the biophysical and the psychosocial needs are basic to human life. PART I^3. ARCHITECTURE & RIGHT ACTION^82 The essential tenet of the basic needs approach to development is "that the poor groups in society be made the focus of development and helped to meet their most basic needs." (ILO, 1981) As elementary and obvious as this approach might be in addressing inequities from the bottom up, there are implications to the implementation of this simple idea. One of these implications is social transformation. In order to address these inequities, there must be some redistribution of existing assets and income and there must be some redistribution of political power through decentralization. (Soejatmoko, 1979; Blunt, 1985; ILO, 1977, 1981; Leipziger, 1981) The concept of basic needs and the implied transformation that accompanies it, do not come as a revelation to those who do not have the political power, the resources or the equity. Because the developed nations control those resources, the responsibility for their redistribution rests first with them. These are responsibilities, too, that arise out of being human. It is up to us to choose how we will act upon those responsibilities (and how they will act upon us). 3.3.3.^Needs as Rights With increasing frequency, the expansion of urban development has given rise to conflicts of rights. While the validity of these rights in themselves is still disputed, the conflicts between communities, as well as between species, grows as the limits of frontiers are reached. Typically these rights, if they are considered at all, are viewed as competitive. Communities are given choices by governing authorities: either housing or farming; either housing or parkland; either liveability or affordability. In the Third World these are profound choices. In the First World they are more often lifestyle PART I^3. ARCHITECTURE & RIGHT ACTION^83 choices; that is, the choice between productive farmland or a golf course, or occasionally, between housing and the aesthetic value of open space. In either case, the conflict is between competing uses of land; land that, in most urban areas, has become increasingly unavailable for further development either as a result of existing use or restrictive zoning. The frontiers that we are reaching as our cities expand are limits that occur in urban development throughout the world. The way in which communities attempt to resolve these conflicts determines the health and liveability, not only of those communities themselves, but of the globe. .1)  The Concept of Rights - When a child is born, does he or she have rights that arrive with that first breath? We know that this child has basic needs, without which life could not continue. But is the fulfillment of these basic needs a human right? In other words, once alive, does this child have the right to a support system that will allow the child to continue to live? Or, further, a right to thrive?10 The 1948 United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This document delineates three basic categories of rights: "1. civil rights and liberties, such as speech, publication, association, religion movement; 2. political rights, such as the ability to influence government and choose representatives; 3. social and economic rights, such as the right to work, the right to social security during illness and old age, the right to an income consistent with human dignity, the right to 10. See Abraham Maslow, Toward a Psychology of Being. New York: D. Van Nostrand Company, 1968. regarding the hierarchy of needs subsumed, according to Maslow by the need for self-actualization. PART I^3. ARCHITECTURE & RIGHT ACTION^84 leisure, and the right to an education." (Hulchanski, 1989:7) The first of these categories