For centuries the architect was the master builder; the one who was responsible for both the design and the construction of a project with sufficient construction expertise to oversee the project from inception to completion. Eventually, complexity of projects required a higher level of specialization leading to the separation of the designer and the builder. Since that separation, the role of the designer, or architect, has continued to shift and evolve. In recent history, the architect has been the one selected by a building owner, at the inception of the project, as the professional who is able to assist and represent the owner throughout the duration of the project. Today however, the role of the architect is once again shifting and leading the architect in a different direction. Building owners are beginning to approach the builder through a design-build or construction manager delivery method first and relying upon them for the overall project and construction expertise instead of the architect. The architect will continue to carry the responsibility of creating the building's design and producing the construction documents. It is very unlikely that this role will change. Any of its other construction related roles, however, are being assumed by the build team. If the architect remains on its current path, it will continue to become more specialized with design and production and carry less responsibility. While the exact role of the architect of today is unclear and heading in a negative direction, the entire construction process continues to evolve and provide new opportunities. The successful architect to come is going to be the one who looks at ways to reclaim its lost responsibilities, explore new alternative services, and promote a higher level of collaboration with the build team.
College and Department
Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Technology
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Jones, Chad B., "The Role of the Architect: Changes of the Past, Practices of the Present, and Indications of the Future" (2006). All Theses and Dissertations. 395.
architect, construction manager, rotation, program manager, design, build, fragmentation, specialization
Construction Management (CM)