I share your general concern about this.
However, I didn't take that specific meaning from Teak's posts.
I thought he wanted the release of this buildings to allow work to be undertaken by local groups.
The trade off for the professionals would be an accredited experience leading to a higher classification regarding conservation work.
For the record I have been doing pro-bono work since I went into independent private practice.
Looking back, I could have concentrated on paying work, but at the time we seemed to have enough and I didn't put more than 10% of my time into it most years.
All of the work benefited me directly in my practice - in experience, not in terms of money in - it was voluntary and unpaid, and indeed I often paid for printing expenses out of my own pocket.
Through this pro-bono work; -
- I was one of two main offices representing at an Oral Hearing
- I authored a significant submission a local action plan in Wicklow
- I have developed my planning observation and appeals competence
- I became a director of a company and co-ordinated the writing their revised articles of association
- I have developed my knowledge of the legislative process and my experience of lobbying and co-ordinated and advised on a current Bill.
- I have kept my knowledge of legislation and associated detailing up to date through advising others on public BBS's and contributing to debates.
All of the above was pro-bono, sometimes at the peak this would take up 100% of your time over short periods.
All of it had significant benefits to my practice, although the professional independence you bring to the role usually fails to bring in work.
I have turned down profitable work in my area while I served on the planing sub-committee of my residents association because of the conflict of interest it would have involved.
The point I am making is that in a recession, with a deart hof paying work, architects should consdier expanding what may do anyway - pro-bono work.
This will help prepare the ground for any economic upturn by upskilling and working with the community, which in turn should help get your name out there for future reference.
Having the done pro-bono work involving the conservation of a local monument on your CV might be no bad thing, especially if you plan on sending in a job application form to the OPW!
Doing pro-bono work in a recession and forging community links needs to be balanced against the need to prompt persons with money to offer paying commissions.
Public goodwill goes a long way - plus its good PR for the Profession of Archtiecture - but it doesn't, in and of itself, put food on your table or pay bills.
So there is a line to be drawn where you advise people up to a certain point and beyond this they have to appoint a professional.
You advise them partly to help them realise that they need a professional because many of them don't know the law.
Pro-bono work also helps improve your communication skills with lay people and keep your advice relevant.
If I sudenly became financially independent I'd still keep up some pro-bono work - its hugely rewarding.