VALUE PROJECT (Value of Architects)
One of ACE’s ( Architects Council of Europe ) Strategic objectives is “to work for recognition of the value of design and the role architects play in the design of the built environment”.
Architects are not good at showing, with evidence, why what they do matters. Liberal professions as a whole are increasingly challenged to prove their worth. Without a convincing response to prove the direct benefits they provide, professionals will become increasingly under-valued and marginalised, and the regulatory frameworks that support their work are being misunderstood and dismantled, also leading to an erosion of fee levels.
We were first minded to develop a methodology for defining the value of good design in architecture, as well as the value that architects can provide – for clients, the built environment and society but we soon realised that a focus on Value of Design is too broad. Conducting an evidence view would be an enormous task, and would be of little direct benefit to our members, so we proposed a narrower focus on the Value of Architects a subject that has not been looked at at an EU level.
The intention is to produce a tool to demonstrate, to the EU Commission, regulators, governments, clients and the public the value of Architects to the economies of the Member States and the EU as a whole.
In addition to developing definitions of value – which vary depending on audience – there are also numerous ways of measuring it – Economic Value (monetary); Environmental Value (impact on resources); and Social Value – quality of life, health outcomes, academic achievement, crime reduction – and related techniques for monetising social value such as Social Return on Investment. Post Occupancy Evaluations are important in assessing this.
So, in the first instance, our aim is to produce a snap-shot view of any academic or policy references that demonstrate the value of architects. This report will be published and become a shared, web-based resource showing what exists – and exposing any gaps that would suggest areas for further investigation.
To assist us with our enquiry, we would be grateful if you could answer a short questionnaire and put us in touch with named professional experts that we can contact on this matter.