Chuchacz: We are in the House to support each other

Wiktor Bochenek
20 of December '22

What should be the self-governing institutions of architects? Why has trust in them often not been characterized by high support? What should be done to make the Chambers better represent architects? We talk about all this with Piotr Chuchacz, president of the Małopolska Regional Chamber of Architects.

Wiktor Bochenek: In March of this year you became president of MPOIA. How are you finding your position so far?

Piotr Chuchacz: This is a simple question, but the answer is complex.

The number of tasks that we took as a Council as a starting point, we are basically implementing.

The beginning of the activities, thanks to the guidance of Marek Kaszynski, president of the Cracow branch of SARP, were visits to municipal and provincial institutions to introduce ourselves, say hello and talk about cooperation. This opening is slowly beginning to bear fruit.

Secondly, we have made it a rule to report on every meeting and event in the social media of our local government. It turned out that this also brings results. We are hearing back from colleagues, seeing the activity of the chamber. Some are taking action in working teams. Quite a few people want to cooperate with us.

We decided to open our "institution" more and more, so that our members feel that they get something more for their dues than pure information and administrative service, which the chamber statutorily performs.

We decided to think about physical activity in the form of allowing chamber members to purchase MultiSport cards. It has resonated with other districts. The program provided by the Malopolska Chamber will be used by members of many of them.

It turned out that many organizations, institutions and foundations involved in the space do not have direct contacts with the Chamber, and may be interested in them. We are trying to unseal our environment, not limiting ourselves only to those with professional licenses. In this way, the Chamber can become a catalyst for the activities of various communities.

Wigilia architektów organizowana przez MPOIA i SARP oddział Kraków

architects' eve organized by MPOIA and SARP Kraków branch

© Malopolska Regional Chamber of Architects

Wiktor: The Małopolska Chamber of Architects has an extensive structure consisting of several diverse teams. What do the various teams do and what achievements do they have?

Piotr: This is primarily due to my predecessor and now Deputy - Marek Tarko, who set his sights on consolidating and synergizing the activities of architects eight years ago.

The first team that was formed was the legislation team led by Bożena Nieroda, now headed by Maciej Kubicki. The team provides opinions on legislation, and also assists architects by formulating opinions and communications.

We have the Team of Experts, whose activities are perhaps the most visible. Led from the very beginning by Wojtek Dobrzanski, it has lived to see more than two hundred and forty opinions that deal with technical conditions, construction law and principles of technical knowledge. It is not only architects who ask for help. Sometimes authorities also ask for help with interpretation.

The Professional Conditions Team was the first in Poland to address the issues of improving the conditions of competitions and tenders in a methodical way. In Chairman Mark Tarko's first term, we responded primarily to tenders, which fortunately are now becoming fewer. We developed a framework agreement for design work. Subsequently, this team dealt with negotiations with the contracting authorities in the formulation of competition regulations. We established close cooperation with the Cracow Branch of SARP. Currently, there is no competition organized by SARP o. Krakow in which there would not be a Chamber.

In the current term, the Historic Preservation Team was established. We have developed a position, which directed to the Malopolska Regional Conservator of Monuments went to the Ministry, because it was considered to raise issues that should be resolved at the national level. This confirms how important a partner our Local Government is. More opinions are being developed.

We successfully conducted another edition of the thematic conference in Krynica. It concerned the application of investment law and its impact on Space. We discussed with Engineers and Representatives of Architectural and Construction Administration and Construction Supervision of both instances and Monument Protection, a number of issues of the heaviest legislative caliber.

This year's conference attracted exceptional interest and attendance.

Marek Kaszyński (SARP oddział Kraków) i Piotr Chuchacz (Małopolska Okręgowa Izba Architektów)

Marek Kaszyński (SARP branch Krakow) and Piotr Chuchacz (Malopolska Regional Chamber of Architects)

© Małopolska Regional Chamber of Architects

Wiktor: What is the investment process checklist created by MPOIA?

Piotr: The investment processchecklist defines the entire process of creating an investment. It catalogs the required documents, organizing the order of their execution and possible transfer to the appropriate administrative bodies. This list was created with the participation of the Chamber of Civil Engineers, the Provincial Construction Supervision and the Infrastructure Department of the Malopolska Regional Office. Its purpose is to organize and justify the need to obtain a number of arrangements, permits and decisions locating them in the appropriate place throughout the process.It turns out that obtaining many of them is not necessary to obtain a building permit, and the timing of their implementation is important in the further process and verified during the handover of the investment for use.

Wiktor: So the list simultaneously simplifies the administrative process and makes life easier for investors?

Piotr: It could do that, only we need to all adopt it for use. There are a lot of entities that want to do this, but they approach the subject cautiously. Such readiness opened up more widely after the Krynica Conference. We have a huge systemic inertia in investment administration in Poland. Changes are being made at the legislative level, but these changes are incomprehensible, ambiguous, and time is needed for them to become established throughout the system including the administrative judiciary. They need to be explained and interpreted to each other to understand the meaning and public interest. In our society, we don't fully trust each other and we don't fully carry out our responsibilities and take actions in the right way. We don't take our own responsibility seriously.

This, among other things, was just discussed at the Conference organized by the Malopolska District Chamber of Architects of the Republic of Poland in Krynica entitled ARCHITECTURE AND LAWConstruction project - case study. Some aspects of conservation protection. Principles of technical knowledge (ARCHITECTUTA ET LEX).

Uczestnicy konferencji w Krynicy organizowanej przez MPOIA

Participants of the conference in Krynica organized by MPOIA

© Malopolska District Chamber of Architects

Wiktor: The Chamber has a new President at the central level, who is Piotr Fokczynski. How does the Malopolska Regional Chamber see cooperation with the central chamber?

Piotr: We have never been afraid of contacts at the national level. We have always been open to activities and many members of our chamber have participated in central activities and we continue to do so. We currently have one significant representative on the National Council is Kazimierz Butelski, who heads the Media Commission. I have also been appointed to activities at the national and actually even international level as a representative of the National Council in the ACE for the New European Bauhaus.

It is worth adding to complete the information about the comprehensive activity of the Malopolska Regional Chamber of Architects of the Republic of Poland that we have an extensive educational division, headed by the Vice-Chairman of the Council Witold Zieliński. We cooperate with three universities. We have been cooperating with the Cracow University of Technology for years. We have developed an original curriculum for teaching students. Members of the College of External Examiners of the MPOIA RP participate in master's and engineering examinations at both the Cracow faculties of architecture at the Technical University and the Andrzej Frycz Modrzejewski Cracow Academy.In the current term, we have signed an agreement with the University of Agriculture and have also started a teaching program in the Department of Spatial Management and Landscape Architecture at the Faculty of Environmental Engineering and Geodesy.

Piotr Chuchacz ( w środku) - Przewodniczący Rady Małopolskiej Okręgowej Izby Architektów

Piotr Chuchacz ( center) - Chairman of the Council of the Małopolska Regional Chamber of Architects

Photo: Patryk Czornij

Wiktor: What do the educational programs at universities organized by you consist of?

Piotr: The Malopolska Chamber has become a forerunner in teaching about space shaping and the practice of the profession. Professionals are brought to the universities to conduct regular classes in the form of lectures, exercises and seminar meetings.

Wiktor: What do you still want to accomplish at the chamber by the end of your term?

Peter: In my opinion, everything has already been accomplished in the chamber in the sense of initiating activities.

Activities have begun and are developing. It's not a snowball rolling downhill yet, but who knows....

My goal, on the other hand, is to act to improve the condition of us as professionals. It is difficult to accept the realization that architects are declining in health. We get sick because of prolonged stress, the burden of responsibility, risks, unpredictable events - including legislative ones. In pursuing this profession, we give our time for the common good - the shaping of space. We must have the time and resources to do good creative work and, moreover, at least hope to stabilize the system. My goal is that we improve our proficiency as creators of good space and our activities do not collide with "legislative conundrums" and administrative Gordian knots.I would like us to be aware that we have a Chamber and we are in it to support each other and our society to help shape a good space for a good life for us and the next generations.

Victor: Thank you for the interview!

interviewed by Wiktor Bochenek

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