Hunt & Associates P.C.

When You’re Not Who You Are; When an Architect is Not an Architect

Architect drawingsIn a recent bizarre trip down the rabbit hole, in Twist Architecture v. Board of Architect Examiners, 361 Or. 507 (2017), the Oregon Supreme Court upheld a fine against architects, duly licensed in Washington, for daring to call themselves “architects” on their correspondence and website read by Oregon clients who hired them to prepare master plans for possible commercial development in the state of Oregon.

Even though the drawings the architects here were hired to draft were simply preliminary and provided no basis for actual construction of any building, the court held that the architects here were not “architects” in Oregon and so upheld the fines.  In fact, the court even said that even though the website noted that the architects here had applied for licensure in Oregon, that wasn’t good enough because they also showed some of their master plans in Oregon thereby implicitly claiming to be “architects in Oregon”.

The holding essentially says that an architect licensed in Washington can’t call themselves an architect when they’re in Oregon.  Yet the laws of physics and chemistry, the principles of geology, and the properties of materials do not change when you cross a state line.  An architect in Washington does not lose their knowledge and expertise as an architect when they cross the Columbia River into Oregon.  In an act of statutorily compelled self-delusion, the court in Twist Architecture requires the Washington architect to deny their professional identity whenever they’re in Oregon.

© 7/5/2017 Lawrence B. Hunt of Hunt & Associates, P.C.  All rights reserved.


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