University of Bath
1st degree: BSc(Architecture)
1968 - 1974
We 'Architects' shared classes with the 'Building Technologists', intimately cloistered in the School's Vanburgh mansion, with Building Science researchers in the basement.
In 1969 the School moved from the faded grandeur of Kings Weston House, Bristol to the efficiency of the University's new Bath campus.
We were taught environmental/fabric technology in 1968, that only surfaced in the 80s and again in the 2000s, as energy crises drove autonomous and passive building design.
It was a 'sandwich course' - each year alternating 2 semesters in school with 6 months working in the building industry.
During these years, we threw off the dogmatic Modern Movement and began to truly design for Fitness for the new Purposes of the world emerging.
Today, ranked no.2 amongst University Schools of Architecture in UK.
Gloucestershire College of Art and Design (GCAD)
2nd degree: Bachelor of Architecture (BArch)
not completed - this was the School of Architecture that collapsed!
1977 - 1979
I passed the Final exams, but the School collapsed just as we were completing.
The RIBA sent in a rescue team, requiring 6 months further attendance but by then I had a great real-world apprenticeship, wife and babies, and a little Georgian town house as hands-on all-trades experience - and I never looked back (so I'm not allowed to use the legal title 'Architect').
We mainly 'mature' students were taught yet more advanced environmental/fabric technology by one of my ex-Bath 'Building Technologist' (see above) contemporaries, a founder member of AECB (as am I).
We were encouraged into ambitious Urban Design projects and radical political debate, had lectures from the Smithsons - the School was a beautiful independent bird that was too ungrounded to survive.
For the reason mentioned above, I chose to continue my career without entitlement to call myself 'Architect', which is legally protected (like 'Doctor').
That has never been a problem. It is 100% legal to 'practice Architecture' (which I do to a high standard of quality, competence and professionality) without calling myself 'Architect'.
Not for that reason, I also choose to not carry Professional Indemnity Insurance. Not because I lack the title 'Architect'; the Indemnity Insurers would be happy to insure me.
It is a heavy cost, which has to be paid every year forever, otherwise any ongoing protection to clients vanishes immediately.
I rely instead on spending far more time than 'normal' on every project, personally taking care of every detail, to thoroughly get everything 'right'. Consequently in my career I have never made any professional mistake that could have led to an Indemnity claim.
Some firms, employing junior staff and minimising hours spent, rely on Indemnity Insurance as a long-stop to any resultant errors or omissions that can't be avoided.
Collaborator professionals such as Structural Engineer invariably carry Indemnity Insurance to cover the parts of the project for which they are responsible.
For the parts for which I am responsible, I have always simply 'got it right'. It's not that difficult, given experience, time and care on every project.