Last time I checked it was a violation of the California Business and Professions Code for an unlicensed person to practice architecture or to use the term 'architect' or even a term confusingly similar in advertising or promotion of their business. The Calif. Architects Board should be made aware of this. Brenda, if you'd prefer not to report this to the CAB I will be happy to.
Almost as offensive as their unlicensed practice is their promotion of the idea that the design process can be reduced to an algorithm! I'd like to believe that this is NOT the future of architecture!!
T. Kent Prater, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP
Generally, stupidity is not a crime and this appears to be a case in which an uneducated journalist is the root of the problem. If you actually read the article, it is the writer who mischaracterizes them as architects and not the would-be designers (as there is no quotation offered in which they hold themselves out as architects).
I doubt the reporter faces any jeopardy for their error, but it would be worth seeing if the site on which the article is posted is willing to post a correction and fix the inaccurate statement....perhaps the CA Board could assist with that.
John Robert Edwards, AIA, NCARB
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I am licensed in 7 states as an "Architect". In California, I do residential work but cannot title myself or drawing sheets as "architect".
ALLEN E NEYMAN, AIA O 301-251-1412 C 301-351-7264
And this is a valid point Allen is making here: (tangential to this thread, but nonetheless significant): why does the California BOA believe it is like a whole other planet? While it SAYS it complies with NCARB reciprocity (for Architects licensed in other states), why does it then also mandate that you have to also take their own special giant test (which probably requires about year to prepare for it)? Most other states recognize and comply with the basic NCARB reciprocity. I've done this for all of my licenses, since first becoming licensed in FL decades ago (as no doubt many of us here on this blog have). Why does CA believe its circumstances are so special they're not found anywhere else in the USA (or world), that requires special preparation and testing? Most of the states where I'm licensed are seismic, some are almost entirely coastal (e.g.: Dade Cy sets high wind standards for building codes), many of them have special environments, and some of them have requirements more demanding than situations in CA. What CA requires to obtain "reciprocity" seems excessive and to no reasonable purpose and a thinly veiled backhand to the intent behind Countrywide reciprocity as envisioned by NCARB. That being said, that doesn't change the fact that if con men claim to be licensed somewhere and in reality aren't, they should be reported.
Rand Soellner Architect ArCH /NCARB /LHI /MA Arch
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I believe Jared hit the nail on the head. The issue with this article is most likely with the writer and not the two entrepreneurs. As we have all seen, the media has co-opted the word Architect to mean anyone who is involved with creating something, whether it's a sports team, foreign policy, or software. Not surprisingly, I suspect that the general public is beginning to lose their understanding of an Architect as a licensed individual who designs buildings. I've posted this photo before of an LA business that I often drive by… and just roll my eyes :-)
But I have to commend Cover for looking to technology for an answer to our affordable housing problem. I recently watched an on-line video showing a Russian company using 3D printing to create a 400 s.f. house in 24 hours for $10,000. Both technologies may still need development before becoming readily available housing options, but it took less than 10 years for smart phones to become an indispensable part of our lives.
Thank you Brenda for sharing the article and starting this discussion.
Yes. The State of CA and every other State of which I am aware takes this seriously. Some guy in TX calling himself "Backyard Architects" (who wasn't) is now looking at a $200,000 fine. The public should be protected from illegal practice, just as a person claiming to be an Engineer, Doctor, Lawyer, or CPA should be truthful or face the consequences. People & property can be damaged. That's why we go to college & graduate school, apprentice under watchful other licensed Architects, obtain experience, document that experience, take tests, obtain more experience, then earn a license to practice, then have to take CEUs every year. It's not just a piece of paper. Designing a house is ranked as one of the most complicated types of projects an Architect can design. And while there are exceptions in States allowing some categories of homes to be designed by unlicensed people, claiming to be an Architect and then offering your services to do that will likely be recognized as breaking the law just about anywhere in the USA. Thanks for catching these rascals in the act. Report 'em.