Professionalisation of the architectural field

News - 06 December 2018 - Communication BK

In the eyes of many practitioners, the architectural profession is undergoing a process of devaluation. To shed light on long-term trends within the profession, BK Bouwkunde starts a sociologic study on professionalisation of practitioners in architecture in collaboration with the ArchiScienza Foundation. This foundation stimulates activities on the intersection of architecture and science in the widest sense.

The study will be written from the perspective of the sociological theory of professionalisation. The position of architects in power relations is the focal point, with particular attention to the closure and regulation of organized architects, the relations of cooperation and competition with neighbouring professions and other actors in the field of construction. Other topics that will be addressed are housing and architecture, the influence of critique, and the individuality of the profession.The end result will be a book issued by Stichting ArchiScienza which will be freely distributed among practitioners. The aim of the study is for it to be like mirror for practitioners in architecture, with an outside perspective. This will help foster the debate on the topic. Workshops with experts in the field of developments in the position will complement the study.

Image: Signing of official collaboration between BK Bouwkunde and ArchiScienza Foundation. From left to right: John Heintz (MBE), Bert Geerken (dean BK Bouwkunde), Fons Verheijen (ArchiScienza Foundation), Vincent Gruis (MBE).

A supervising committee was created with Abram De Swaan, Fons Verheijen, Arnold Reijndorp, and, on behalf of the TU Delft, Marleen Hermans. The study will be conducted by postdoctoral researcher Stefan Metaal and further supervised by John Heintz. Stefan Metaal is a sociologist and has written a dissertation at the University of Amsterdam about urban, rural and suburban identity. He has conducted and supervised numerous studies on the process of renewal in pre-war and postwar urban areas, urban and suburban change in new towns, and the ripple-effects of gentrification on recently built areas around popular cities.