Why Architects Matter examines the key role of research- led, ethical architects in promoting wellbeing, sustainability and innovation. It argues that the profession needs to be clear about what it knows and the value of what it knows if it is to work successfully with others. Without this clarity, the marginalization of architects from the production of the built environment will continue, preventing clients, businesses and society from getting the buildings that they need.
The book offers a strategy for the development of a twenty-first-century knowledge-led built environment, including tools to help evidence, develop and communicate that value to those outside the field. Knowing how to demonstrate the impact and value of their work will strengthen practitioners' ability to pitch for work and access new funding streams. This is particularly important at a time of global economic downturn, with ever greater competition for contracts and funds driving down fees and making it imperative to prove value at every level.
Why Architects Matter straddles the spheres of `Practice Management and Law', `History and Theory', `Design', `Housing', `Sustainability', `Health', `Marketing' and `Advice for Clients', bringing them into an accessible whole. The book will therefore be of interest to professional architects, architecture students and anyone with an interest in our built environment and the role of professionals within it.
'The architectural profession and society must collaborate on repairing the covenant between us so that we may deliver the outcomes that matter so much to both. Flora Samuel's excellent book throws light on the actual and potential contribution of architects to the prospect of social well-being and more to the point, identifies ways in which we must go about realizing this potential.'
Benjamin Derbyshire, President, Royal Institute of British Architects and Chair of HTA Design
'Architects are needed more than ever to address the challenges in the built environment. In this timely book Flora Samuel presents valuable insights for the profession's future development, which she argues depends on how it organises its knowledge. It is a must-read for architectural professionals in the 21st century.'
Fredrik Nilsson, Professor of Architectural Theory, Chalmers University of Technology, and Head of Research in Practice, AElvstranden Utveckling AB
'I have been teaching and preaching about the problems architecture as a profession and architects as practitioners face for the last five years. If only I had had this book to assign all along! It lays out so clearly the issues behind the ironic but tragic fact that the public and the architectural profession hate what architecture has become. The fact that no one in this binary is happy with a profession that is seen as effete and socially indifferent requires an analysis that goes beyond handwringing and cross accusations. This book is it, as it systematically analyses both the history and structure of this dilemma.'
Peggy Deamer, Professor of Architecture, Yale University and Architecture Lobby
List of Illustrations. Acknowledgments. Introduction. Part 1: The Undervaluing of Architectural Knowledge. 1. Public Image, Misinformation and the Bogey of Dispensability. 2. The Profession. 3. Cracks in the Professional Foundations: The Right Body of Knowledge. 4. The Research Culture of Architects. 5. The Value Agenda. Part 2: The Value of Architects. 6. So What is an Architect? 7. The Value of Social Architects. 8. The Value of Cultural Architects. 9. The Value of Knowledge Architects. Part 3: Making the Most of Architects. 10. Education for Uncertainty. 11. Developing a Shared Language of Research. 12. Models of Academic and Practice Research Collaboration. 13. Incentivising Research in Practice. 14. Risk and Research Strategy. 15. Managing Knowledge in Practice. Conclusion. Index.