January 06, 2008

Berufsfeld Architektur 1.0 Job-Report Architecture 1.0

There is almost no serious statistical data on the (Austrian) working and business situation of architects. Still, architects focus mainly on the aesthetic standpoint aspect – seeing architecture only reflected by the creative product. Collecting statistical data isn’t appropriate to architecture, most of them might think. However, what it means to be an architect is blurry – even for them. Still many people think of architecture as an artistic, elitist profession and a life of wealth. Increasingly, star architects confirm this image.

Each year 570 Austrian students complete their architecture studies and struggle for success. Many of them will never build or work for architects: they’ll work for developers, real estate agencies, graphic designers, visualization studios or engineering consultants. Again, there is hardly any statistical data showing these shifts in the architect’s labour market.

But the profession of architects has changed. Since several years European governments have discovered a new branch of the economy: Creative Industries. The UK Government Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) defines the Creative Industries as: “those industries which have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent and which have a potential for wealth and job creation through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property.” Some years ago architecture wasn’t regarded as a business creating domestic value: it was simply seen as art. Until now economy is rarely taught at architecture schools and universities. Who knows e.g. the architect’s portion to the GDP of a country?

On January 16th the Austrian AZW (Architekturzentrum Wien) presents the Job-Report “Berufsfeld Architektur 1.0” showing for the first time detailed insights to architecture profession in Austria. The report is based on a survey (by DI Dr. Oliver Schürer and DI Katharina Tielsch) of architects in Austria.