While joining the course of Architecture, students aspire to the kind of architect they are willing to be. Through the course, they learn not just designing but many ancillary things which are part of designing like services, sustainability, construction details, and many more. In this process, the students understand and evaluate their prospects for a career. Some plan to work in the office structure, and some set up their own business. 

Architect’s Vision when it comes to the business aspect of architecture - Sheet1

Architecture is the art of designing or planning a space that people can utilize. On the other hand, a Business is an establishment involved in commercial activities. Hence, architecture has become a business that delivers the requirements of people that do not belong to the same background by taking the help of experts. Architects and other consultants understand the need of the user and design the space in a manner to fulfill the requirement. This process is carried out by researching, visualizing, sketching, designing, and constructing the structure. The idea of having a business in architecture is common among architects. 

In the earlier days, when architecture was not a service, it was merely a basic necessity of creating a habitable space. But through time, people understood the value of architecture and how different understandings of designing and construction knowledge can help build a glorious community history and fabricate the city’s future. Later, people started approaching the learned architects to get designs of the buildings they needed. It then became the business of architecture, where the designers laid out the client’s needs in the most innovative and unique ways.

Architecture and Business

Architect’s Vision when it comes to the business aspect of architecture - Sheet2

When setting up a firm, an architect needs to plan a business model that aligns with their ideology. One needs to be able to answer questions like what kind of services they are going to provide, what are the short-term and long-term goals of the firm, how they are planning to attract clients, on what basis they will be recruiting the staff, and how do they plan to make profits, and many more such questions. An architect needs to do his research since there are many business models out there, some of which have been going on for quite some time, and some are trying to incorporate new values in modern times. 

Three major types of business models are followed in the market: efficiency-based, experience-based, and expertise-based. The efficiency-based model is when the firm does a similar project in repetition. It allows the firm to produce results faster. This means that you have a typical system of designing and production and try to make changes and improve within this system, making it more efficient. In this method, the firm provides very limited services with utmost efficiency

In the experience-based model,  the firm delivers services in the most unique way possible. Based on their experiences, they find varied and distinctive solutions to the problems. These firms take on complex and diversified projects that help them customize solutions to address the needs of the clients. 

In the expertise-based model, the architects have specialized in a certain topic and take up projects pertaining to a similar subject. These architects are usually well-known by their names instead the firms. They are the ‘starchitects’ who have won awards for their talents and managed to build a reputation in the market. 

The field of architecture is vast, and it is not just limited to designing a building. Many services aid the process of designing, such as interior, sustainability, liasoning, plumbing, structural, electrical, and many more consultants come into the picture. These consultants assist the architects with their insights and help establish a detailed and concrete design. 

Today, architects, when running a business, have a very limited role as a designer but have to take care of things as a manager. They need to lead the office, which in itself is a huge task. Bringing in clients for smooth income flow to cater to the needs of the firm. Professional liabilities and legal bindings exist when your firm signs into a project as an architect. Rules and regulations, copyright infringements, and empanelments come into the picture when you are running a firm. The owner has to take care of the inevitable expenditures too happening in the firm to maintain a smooth process. 

The architect’s general vision for their business is to provide services to the client with proper solutions and engage with them to bring positive ideas that help enhance the final product. One aims to magnify the outcome of the client’s requirements along with boosting their growth in the field. Any business model an architect chooses has its struggles and benefits in the long run, but the architect must first understand his strengths and weaknesses and work accordingly. 


  • (Surve, 2022)
  • (Vision Statements for Architects | Practice Clarity, 2022)
  • (Lee, 2022)

Soundariya Shetty is an architect from Mumbai. She believes architecture is not limited to buildings, landscapes or its aesthetics, architecture is in every corner. She has high regards for sustainable architecture and strives to learn more to build her knowledge and understanding in this field by listening, reading and observing.