Dear Council of Architecture,
As I have not yet seen customary “court-has-endorsed-our-stand” victory messages that architects share for inexplicable reason whenever a judicial body somewhere in the nation adds one more nail to the coffin of architecture, I feel that my communication may be immature; but I want to be the first one to congratulate you for snatching yet another glorious defeat right out of the mouth of victory in the high court of New Delhi on 25th April, 2018.
I must congratulate you for regulating one of the only four professions since 1972, when The Architects Act brought you to existence, in such a unique manner that now you have miraculously managed to lose almost everything, including sole right to practice “architecture” that architects believed they had.
As I read the order issued by learned judge, I am happy to note that it is a fine piece of justice. It is work of a diligent mind that cuts deep into the subject, looks right through all your moral pretence and has concluded that the whole world, other than architects know, i.e. Architect is a mere title, with no exclusive right to practice architecture.
As you have now been at the receiving end of this treatment in couple of courts, you must be wondering about the purpose of your existence, and also of Architects Act, 1972. But, for me, a citizen of this nation that is building one of the worst human habitats in the world, I am not worried about your existential crisis, I am more worried about myself, and hence this open letter.
You need to define architecture and designing for human-use, and engineers must define their job as designing to integrate technologies in a building. As humans are more important than technologies, architects may claim to be first amongst the equals in a team designing a building, but if you think that you can use Architects Act to ensure that architects can usurp engineers’ job, you are mistaken.
You must reach out to the Supreme Court with clean hands. Your loss in Delhi or Allahabad High Court is based more on technicalities because Architects Act has failed to incorporate definition of architecture and limit it to architects, but there is a higher purpose of your existence that Supreme Court can appreciate.
Nation needs architects as professionals. We need empowered professionals who are serving the society. If juristic entities or unregulated individuals replace a professional, they can’t uphold the greater good. So, just because Architects Act is drafted with defects that fail to limit, it doesn’t mean that nation has to live without a much needed professional.
This is possible only if you, the mighty Council of Architecture of India wakes up to the realities on the ground and cleans up your own house. As we are poised to explode as a nation in terms of infrastructure and real estate building, you need to act, and act now. Sort out your differences with engineers, define your scope honestly and reach out to Supreme Court to seek remedy.
A hopeful citizen who wants good clean cities and well-made buildings by architects and engineers, two brothers in arms.