NCARB Centennial: Regions

NCARB Centennial: Regions


As the regulation of architecture became more complex, licensing boards looked for new opportunities to discuss issues specific to their location. In the 1930s, several boards in the Mid-Atlantic attempted to solve this problem by creating NCARB’s first region. In 1937, the group put forward a resolution in NCARB’s Annual Meeting to form other regional groups. While the motion was carried forward, no formal steps were taken and the grassroots effort soon lost momentum during the second World War. For the next two decades, a handful of states would gather independently at AIA regional conferences to debate issues ranging from examination to practicing across borders. Then in 1962, NCARB established a committee to research and recommend a feasible regional structure. The Council’s hope was that regions might make the day-to-day operations of examination, licensure, and reciprocity, more effective, as well as inspire more widespread adoption of uniform standards. I believe that that smaller group is better suited to identifying potential leaders and developing them. It provides a mechanism for us to have more intimate conversations about the issues that are affecting licensure and regulation. In early 1963, NCARB’s Western members established the first official region. At that year’s annual meeting, the committee on regional structure delivered an encouraging report highlighting regions’ potential ability to manage joint exam administrations, as well as local architecture concerns, such as earthquakes and hurricanes. The regions were really an essential part of NCARB. When they get together, they are instrumental in the entire NCARB process. By the 1964 meeting, four emerging regions had begun to form. The boundaries were outlined in 1965 to include the current six regions— the New England Conference , the Middle Atlantic Conference, the Southern Conference, the Mid-Central Conference, the Central States Conference, and the Western Conference. It’s important that you keep it broken into regions, so that they can foster and mentor people to become leaders. In 1968, NCARB’s Board of Directors doubled in size by adding a director from each of the six regions. Today, all 55 jurisdictions belong to one of NCARB’s six regions, which continue to meet throughout the year. If you look at NCARB as the pie, then each of the six regions are a slice of the pie. One might be blueberry. One might be apple. One might be cherry. They all have their own different flavors and put them together and we have the NCARB community.

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