01 Architecture Essays

Swear the Imhotepean Oath if you are an ArchitectCare

For ironclad integrity

Inspired by the Hippocratic, I have formed the oath below for architects. I’ve sworn it. It is in the name of Imhotep, the father of architecture.

I propose the Ankh and Sceptre symbol for the guild of architects, with the kind permission of Egypt. The Ankh represents life, and the Was Sceptre represents control over the forces of chaos, the quintessence of architecture.

If you’re an architect in any field, you may stand, hold up your hand, solemnly swear it aloud and be admitted to the ethereal guild of architects. Drop a line here, and I’ll deem it witnessed.

You are already a fine architect. But take the oath and be changed forever. It will enter your mind and soul, guiding you with a firm hand to always do right, do best.

Frame the taken oath and hang it by your desk.

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Image created by the author. Ankh and sceptre photo courtesy Wikimedia commons.

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THE IMPHOTEPEAN OATH OF AN ARCHITECT

“I swear to fulfil, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:

I will respect the hard-won skills of those architects in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.

I will apply, for the benefit of the enterprise, all measures that are required, avoiding those twin traps of idealism and expediency. I will respect the three foundations of architecture — method, skill and artefacts.

I will remember that there is an art to architecture as well as science, and warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the architect’s design in their ability to achieve the best outcome for all.

I will not be ashamed to say, “I know not,” nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when I need the skills of another for the enterprise’s well-being. I will always consider all reasonable alternatives, to the best of my knowledge and experience, in making an architectural decision.

I will respect the privacy of my clients. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of intellectual property and finance.

I will remember that I serve a productive enterprise whose well-being affects many. If it is given me to reduce its costs, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to increase its income. My responsibility includes these concerns if I am to care adequately for my client. I must face them with great humility and awareness of my frailty. Above all, I must not play at know-it-all.

I will provide to the best of my ability outcomes that are complete, flexible, sound and economical over their lifetime.

I will prevent deterioration of architectural quality whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.

I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, to do them no harm through my work.

I will expand my mind through the study of philosophy, science, art and language, and deliver their benefits through my architecture.

If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live, and remembered with honour thereafter. May I always act to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of providing high-quality architecture to those who seek my skills.”

Published on 2019-01-16 05:14

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