The London-based Architects Registration Board has implored the British architecture newspaper Building Design to please, guys, stop referring to Renzo Piano and Daniel Libeskind as "architects." The move may solicit chuckles from those who'd love to see Libeskind's buildings demolished or those quick to take jabs at Piano's newly opened Shard building, in London, but ARB was serious: "All three [BD Online] articles make reference to either Mr Renzo Piano or Mr Daniel Libskind [sic] as 'architects', however, as they are not registered with the Arb they are not entitled to be described as such." Then: "In the light of BD's readership I would ask that you avoid referring to Mr Piano and Mr Libskind as 'architect's [sic] in any future publications."
In America, each state provides its own licensing requirements for architects, with the National Council of Architecture Registration Boards (NCARB) serving as the banner organization "leading the regulation of the practice of architecture through the development and application of standards for licensure and credentialing of architects," according to the official site. On the contrary, Britain's ARB is a 15-member national council that "regulate[s] the architects' profession in the UK" by "prescribing—or 'recognising' the qualifications needed to become an architect" and "making sure that only people on our register offer their services as an architect." And so, the theory goes, because Libeskind and Piano aren't officially on the ARB register, they shouldn't be referred to as architects by a British architecture paper.
BD Online, of course, won't be complying with this request: "as far as BD is concerned Renzo Piano is an architect and that is how we will continue to refer to him," editor in chief Amanda Baillieu said in a statement. Something else: last February, Piano and Libeskind both signed an open letter to London Mayor Boris Johnson pleading for him to save Design for London, the architectural advisory body to the mayor, from budget cuts. How's that for karma!