Do we protect Architects, or Architecture?

Thank you to everyone who mentioned they’d liked our comment piece on CBC Information Morning on Thursday 24.11.2015.  Here’s a rough transcript:


I think it’s fantastic that you guys are having this discussion about local architecture.  I heard the architect Sid Dumaresq yesterday on your program speaking about architectural projects being awarded to firms outside of Nova Scotia.  I’d like to make a correction, and maybe try to reframe the issue.  Sid listed a few projects won by firms from elsewhere.  What he didn’t mention was that these firms will typically also have local partners.  I can speak to this because as it happens our architectural office, Abbott Brown, are partners with Diamond Schmitt, the firm Sid mentioned, on the Dartmouth Sportsplex re-design.  And, it should be said, that’s working on the design together, as equal partners.

I think that as architects we need to look at what we are advocating for.  I feel that our job is about embracing better planning and better design.  It’s about helping to make this city and this province a dynamic, progressive place to live. The kind of place that attracts people and investment, because it’s a wonderful place.

That’s the fight which I guess I feel architects need to be waging: not so much about protecting our own firms, and more about making this place as awesome as it can be.  That’s the way forward.  And, maybe if that work can be best done with the help of an out of province firm, hire them. 

But I think we do also have the skill here to win work.  There are some younger offices in town who are really trying to walk that Ivany walk, embracing really high design standards, winning work out of province, and just generally wanting to be judged on product, not whether we’re local.  There is still some work to be done on making design quality the job #1 priority in the way tenders are written, but for now we can at least continue to all show the way by example.  It’s all about good design!