Raymond Ozoji, Awka
The emphasis at a two-day workshop organished by the Nigerian Institute of Architects at Chikotel Classique Hotel Awka Anambra state was for young and upcoming architects to develop and nurture what the institute saw as creative diversity to enable them to meet the challenges of modern trends in architecture.
Keynote speaker at the opening ceremony of the workshop at the weekend, Arch. Mike Nwafor said in spite of the competitive nature of the architectural profession, young and upcoming architects could break-even by deploying their natural proclivities and potentials to create gaps in the markets that they can fill to distinguish themselves from the multitudes of architects in the industry.
Although the keynote speaker observed that architects were grossly under-utilised in recent times, he stressed that there were lots of business models for architects to explore especially as it concerns having a unique design which he can launch into the market and retain the patent while getting returns on it.
Nwafor also noted that architects could venture into estate developments and explore various business models, noting that the architect is created to rule his world and that all that is needed is for the architect to reach out, subdue and conquer his world with innovative ideas and architectural inventions.
He said architects shouldn’t wait for recognitions but force themselves to be recognized through their products and services adding that business opportunities abound for architects and all other professionals.
Also, the commissioner for housing and urban development in Anambra state Arch. Mike Okonkwo admonished young architects to be distinctive in what they do and not become copycats emphasising that diversity and variety paved way for better life.
The commissioner also explained that though it is rather unfortunate that architects do not have the recognition that they deserve all over the globe, he said there is an urgent need to enact laws making it mandatory that before a building project commences, an architect must do the design and drawings.
Okonkwo recommended that to avoid incidents of collapsed buildings, incorrect use of men and materials at construction sites, architects must be involved in the planning and execution process.
The chairman Nigerian Institute of Architects Anambra state chapter Arch. Osta Paul Okafor said the conference was organised to expose participants on other areas they could explore apart from their core areas of specialisation and expertise.
He said even though government can not provide employment for all, he said it was important for people to discover other spheres where they have natural proclivities and proficiencies to carve a niche for themselves as evident in the theme of the NIA conference ” Creative Diversity: Architecture And Entrepreneurship.”
Okafor also pointed out that from investigations, no qualified architect has been involved in failed building projects, noting that only those who masquerade as architects and extort money from unsuspecting citizens engaged in collapsed building projects.
According to him, no architect has been involved in collapsed building projects and that the Architects Registration Council of Nigeria and Nigerian Institute of Architects were regulatory bodies checkmating the activities of architects to avoid impersonations and quackery.