Mimarlık Ve Etik: Mesleki Etik Olur Mu?

Hossein SADRI


Architecture, as it is reflected in its name which originates from the ancient Greek word of Arkhitekton (ἀρχιτέκτων), and in the meaning of construction skill and the mastery of building, has a long history. However what is called architecture as a profession today has aroused during the 19th Century by its re-classification within the limits of design, its isolation from building and construction, the reality and one to one scale and its institutionalization as one of the arms of the capitalist system and “modern state”. The profession of architecture is implemented by of professionals who have been “awarded” with the title of “architect” and authorised in the field of architecture by state and other legal authorities. Architects obtain the capabilities of spatial design and organization. Accumulation of this capability increases the effects of architecture on socio-cultural and economic-political transformations and consequently the risk of using this power for non-humanitarian goals. To allay the anxiety of the possible misuse of this power and to keep it down, professional ethics has been delineated in architecture, as it has been in all other professions. However focusing on the client-serving professional interests, professional ethics inspire the guild-related activities in the profession.

Today when almost all the professions act under the influences of liberal and neo-liberal order, professional ethics, which are supposed to be subjects of human values, are restricted to the image of professions and their market shares. Codes of professional conducts as the documents of professional ethics, which should manifest inter-professional and ultra-professional as well as intra-professional moral rules, have been issued according to the rules of capitalism and  limited only to the intra-professional regulations and personal responsibilities of individuals. Similarly in architecture, codes of professional ethics exclude the moral accountability of the profession, collective responsibilities of architects and take no notice of the ultra-professional role of architecture and the roles of other actors in the field rather than individual architects.

This article investigates the foundation of professions, discussing the ethical validity of professional ethics according to the processes of legitimization of professions and examines the profession of architecture and architectural ethics in this context. The codes of professional ethics prepared by the most operative worldwide professional organizations in architecture such as Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), The Architects’ Council of Europe (ACE), International Union of Architects (UIA) and The American Institute of Architects (AIA), are scrutinized   in order to grasp the lack of humanitarian concerns and interrogate the capitalist interests of codes of professional ethics in architecture. The article recommends the term of architectural ethics opposing professional ethics and extends a proposal related to its contents.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4305/metu.jfa.2015.1.5


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