Do we need architecture?

How might we as architects participate in creating better future, if people don’t need architecture?


Unlike the work done by lawyers or doctors, the content of architectural work, the creation of the built environment, also takes place without architects. Architecture’s long-term share of turnover in the construction industry is less than 1%. What is the value of architecture to society? On the one hand, being an architect is valuable social status; on the other, no one wants to hire you, as Peggy Deamer discusses in her text “Deprofessionalism” in “Architects after Architecture”.

It is clear from the available data that innovation in the profession comes in response to external needs and that most commissions were individual housing. What is realised tends to be a compromise between budget, building regulations, technical possibilities and the wishes of people who are involved in the process. Is the construction of spaces and spaces the answer to the social challenges of the 21st century? What and how can architects contribute to society?


  1. “I work for myself. In order to continue with freelancing and to ‘get by’, i.e. to support my family, I am forced to work a lot outside the industry to earn money (in transportation business).”
  2. “I lost a lot of money on my first projects also because I did not have good-quality contracts. I had to stop working for financial reasons and went to Germany for two months to work as a wage labourer. I made six times my salary and enough to start working in architecture again.”

The development of the percentage share of architecture within the construction market

Source: ACE, 2022

What kinds of building do architects work on?

The percentage of work undertaken by architects that a given type of building represents

Source: WCYA(cze), 2020

The proportion of architects in the population by country

Source: ACE, 2022