The Debate Regarding The Effectiveness Cultural Studies Essay


This dissertation provides a critical examination on the debate regarding the effectiveness of the architect in providing architectural solutions in small residential projects. Although much has been written on the role of the architect in large projects, there is a sense that there is a gap in the literature pertaining to small projects. The central hypothesis of this work is that architects in fact provide little value to a project other than through the addition of a weight of authority that is not always underpinned by a sense of added. As a caveat to this thesis, however, there is a sense that this thesis must be qualified in terms of the fact that architecture on small projects is greatly different to that on large projects. From a macro perspective, architects are effective in working as social engineers, and on construction large-scale projects that fit with overarching governmental policy on the matter. From a micro perspective, architects simply do not carry the value that is often assumed. The purpose of this work will be to test this thesis, and in so doing, to create a sense of engagement with the nature of architecture in order to examine its true value.

The literature review section will examine a range of different theories, and will ascertain the extent to which the thesis is supported, as well as developing different further and ancillary hypotheses that can be tested. This will then be placed in the context of a case study, and there will be a survey conducted in order to collected primary and empirical evidence. All of this information will be drawn together, and the extent to which an architect adds true value in a small residential project will be examined. This will then be concluded to determine whether the core hypothesis was supported or undermined by the wealth of information that is available on the subject.


Scope of Chapter

The purpose of this chapter is to give an outline of the core debates that will be investigated throughout the course of this work, and to give some elucidation to the different issues that will be mentioned. The scope of this chapter, therefore, is to give an insight into the research design, and the theoretical underpinning of the work, in order that there might be some anticipation and engagement with potential issues. This work is designed to promote a fairly revisionist and unorthodox hypothesis, and as such, it is critical that the core information and methodologies are tested and investigated in a number of different ways. By showing the manner in which information was selected, it is hoped to preempt criticism, and to show the means by which key conclusions were arrived at. In addition, this chapter will show how different areas of the work will emerge, and the core hypotheses that underpin the conception of the work.

1.2 Rationale for Research

The rationale behind this research is the challenging of a number of received wisdoms as to the value of an architect to a project. It is the intention of this work to test the hypothesis that in order to conduct a successful project, it is not necessary to ensure that an architect is hired. In particular, it will be necessary to look at the extent to which architects provide value for money, and are able to add quality and expertise to a project. Based on a number of case studies, as well as general use of the theory, it will be possible to test the idea that in terms of guaranteeing the success of the project, hiring an architect is not only sub-optimal, but may actually fundamentally weaken the project. The origin of this stems from the fact that many small projects raise very little money for architects compared with large projects. As such, the architect commissioned will spend little time and effort on the project, meaning the likelihood of negligence is greatly increased.

The rationale behind this research therefore stems from the fact that it is something that has been little studied in recent years, and whilst there is a wealth of information pertaining to the success of architects in various projects, there is little about the potential alternatives to hiring an architect. This gap in the literature does much to justify the research.  

1.2.1 The History of Residential Design in Britain

The history of residential design in Britain can be subdivided into two key areas. The first of these is the macro-level design, orchestrated by government or local council, and involved with some level of social engineering, based on the creation of affordable housing, or the transformation of a particular area. This is the type of residential design that is often most associated with the use of an architect. By contrast, micro-level projects are those that take place on an individual basis, such as an extension to a home or a new build development, that do not necessarily require an architect. These two types of project can be fundamentally delineated. Macro-level design

The macro-level history of residential design is one in which architecture has dovetailed with the nature of governmental policy to create a situation whereby architects have created buildings and spaces that attempt to build community. As part of this, much has been written in the literature about the nature of social engineering. This provides evidence for the value of the architect in large scale projects, although this does not directly correlate with the need for an architect on a small residential project.

However, there is also a sense that the nature of large scale projects is something that has perhaps overstated the necessity of architects. That said, there have been many benefits of the use of architects in a variety of postwar housing programmes. In particular many of the post-industrial urban projects in the UK have relied on architects to shape the nature of modern British cities. As Raco (2003) states, "Urban regeneration programmes in the UK over the past 20 years have increasingly focused on attracting investors, middle-class shoppers and visitors by transforming places and creating new consumption spaces. Ensuring that places are safe and are seen to be safe has taken on greater salience as these flows of income are easily disrupted by changing perceptions of fear and the threat of crime." (Raco, 2003: 1869) However, as stated throughout this work, there should not be a conflation of the nature of large scale projects and those of small residential projects. The purpose of stating the benefit of architects in large scale projects is simply to provide a potential reason as to why it is so often assumed that an architect is necessary. This will be explained throughout the course of this work. Micro-level design

By contrast, there is an extent to which micro-level design, of the sort on a small residential project does not require the use of an architect. This is something that is naturally relatively controversial within the academic field, and is something that will need to be justified if it is to be proved. However, although a number of small projects do employ an architect, it can be shown that they are unable to provide either the value or the skill set to make employment worthwhile. A number of higher socioeconomic individuals do prefer to use an architect on projects, particularly those who are focusing on a new type of design or type of materials (Atkinson and Flint, 2004). However, as this work will demonstrate, this is not always necessary, and is something that may in fact cause a larger number of problems than it solves. Again, the fact that architects are employed in large scale design projects often links them inexorably in the minds of the individual with the concept of design. However, this work will use a number of distinct tactics to highlight the fact that there is little need for this approach.

1.2.2 Negligent Design

One of the key theses of this work is the fact that hiring an architect may actively damage a project. For architects who do not properly consider the demands of a project, their plans may lead to the beginning of construction before a mistake is realised (Clute et al., 1981). In addition, a lack of research may prevent an architect from using the correct materials - something that is only noted years later. There is wealth of literature pertaining to the issue of negligent design: something that can be subdivided into incompetent design or a lack of on-site safety. The first of these is far more attributable to an architect, and there is a range of different sources related to this issue. As Garmony, Tennant and Winsch (2007) write, "Incompetent design refers to errors or omissions in plans, drawings or specification, and also in choice of materials, ‘build-ability’ and ‘supervise-ability’." (Garmony, Tennant and Winsch, 2007: 68) There is an overlap between negligent design and on-site safety, as this is one of the three most common causes of accidents on building sites. As Hess et al. (2007) write, "Injured workers typically allege one or more of three theories: negligent design; negligent construction management or supervision; and negligent failure to warn of dangerous site conditions. Design professionals are obliged to exercise such reasonable care, technical skill and ability, and diligence as are ordinarily required of design professionals in the course of preparing their plans or performing inspections." (Hess et al., 2007: 172-3) One of the most common arguments that will be considered throughout this work is that often having no architect is preferable than having an architect that is not able to communicate regularly and effectively with the building contractor or the project manager. This all falls under the auspices of negligence. As Sweet and Schneier (2012) write, "A contractor’s claim of negligence may encompass allegations that the design professional: was slow in approving submittals, was negligent in rejecting submittals, imposed on the contractor higher performance standards than were required by the contract, or wrongly refused to approve progress payments." (Sweet and Schneier, 2012: 283) Increasingly, the rise of litigation as an issue in architectural design shows the extent to which this is a growing problem, and that the presence of an architect does not insure against many of the dangers of poor design. As Templer (1995) writes, "Courts have imposed liability for improper construction or design in many instances. In general, liability may be imposed where stairways or ramps fail to meet customary construction standards." (Templer, 1995: 161) This work will examine, through the use of a number of case studies and surveys, the extent to which this is a common experience for those who hire architects. Small residential projects lend themselves more towards negligent design on the basis that they are often low paying, and architects are unlikely to be on-site, or to conduct adequate research, in contrast to larger projects.


1.3 Principle Aims and Objectives

The aims of this project are to attempt to prove the core thesis - that hiring an architect for a small residential design project is not necessary. In addition, there will also be an examination of the extent to which hiring an architect for a project such as this may actually hinder the development of the project, and lead to more negative consequences than not hiring an architect. A literature review will give an overview of the key theoretical arguments, although there will also be an analysis of specific case studies, which will lead to the testing of the existing hypotheses, as well as the potential development of new ones. In addition, one of the key aims of this work is to develop a nuanced conclusion, that is based upon more than simply an assessment of whether an architect is optimal in various projects, but also an ontological perspective on why this may or may not be the case.

1.4 Research Question

The development of a research question is an important aspect of any research project. Setting the parameters for the work is critical in determining how best to deploy resources and to limit or expand a field of study. As Ridenour, Benz and Newman (2008) write, "The research question initiates any research study. The research question is fundamental, much more fundamental than the paradigm to which a researcher feels allegiance." (Ridenour, Benz and Newman, 2008: 1) For this work, therefore, the research question will be one that attempts to summate the core hypothesis, and will be, ‘To what extent is it necessary to hire an architect for a small residential project?’ A sub-question of this (assuming that the hypothesis is proven to be correct) will be ‘What are the risks of hiring an architect for a project of this nature?’. The first of these questions is somewhat binary in nature, in that it will either be shown that an architect is or is not an asset to a project. The second will require greater testing, and it is envisaged that the qualitative research will prove to be more useful in assessing the nature of this hypothesis.  

1.5 Hypothesis

As with the development of a research question, there is a sense that the importance of the hypothesis should not be underestimated: "In conducting research using hypotheses one has to be prepared to use several hypotheses in order to catch the complexity of the phenomenon being researched, and not least because mediating variables have to be included in the research." (Morrison, Choen and Manion, 2007: 83) Although this work understands the complexity of different hypotheses, the core hypothesis of this work is that it is not necessary to hire an architect for a small residential project, and that doing so may actively harm the project, and cause issues in the long term. The underlying hypothesis is that an architect who commits little time or research to a project is likely to be a worse asset than no architect at all. Additionally, a hypothesis is that small residential projects do not command enough attention on behalf of the client to guarantee adequate research or management.

1.6 Methodology

The methodology of this work is one that will attempt to combine a number of different approaches, and can therefore broadly be defined as a mixed methodology. Specifically, the work will draw upon elements of literature review (and therefore theory), as well as empirical evidence. Much of this empirical evidence will be gleaned either through the use of a small-n qualitative set of case studies. These have the capacity to aid with the development of hypotheses, as Teddlie and Tashakkorie (2008) write: "Qualitative methods may be most simply and parsimoniously defined as the techniques associated with the gathering, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of narrative information....Answers to qualitative research questions are narrative in form." (Teddlie and Tashakkori, 2008: 6). In addition to the use of a qualitative study, the work will also attempt to conduct a survey using a questionnaire. This questionnaire was designed so as to test various hypotheses, and as such is something that should mix with the small-n study. This approach is one that will attempt to minimise the individual weaknesses of qualitative and quantitative research, and to combine them to create the most optimal approach for gaining information.

1.6.1 Literature Review

The purpose of conducting a literature review was to ground the work in a deep theoretical basis. As the nature of this work is somewhat revisionist in its conception, it is important to preempt any claims of a lack of information through an analysis of the arguments on both sides of the debate. The importance of a literature review is to explore the canon of work on which the research will sit, and to ensure that the key issues have been identified. As Fink (2009) writes, "A research literature review is a systematic, explicit, and reproducible method for identifying, evaluating, and synthesizing the existing body of completed and recorded work produced by researchers, scholars and practitioners." (Fink, 2009: 3) Given the wealth of resources available, finding materials makes a literature review an essential aspect of the work.


1.6.2 Case Studies

Creating case studies is something that was vitally important in the working, having drawn many of the hypotheses from evidence gleaned from particular case studies. Although case studies alone are a somewhat methodologically flawed way of conducting research, through a combination with a survey, it is possible to ensure that the nature of the research is expandable (Gagnon, 2010). Again, this emphasises the benefits of a mixed methodology in shaping the way that different research styles can be used to complement one another. A case study will allow for new areas of investigation to emerge, which can then be tested through the method of the survey. Case studies will not be difficult to source, and will provide a rich addition to the research through a deep-level study of the particular issues involved. This is expected to highlight a number of new hypotheses.  

1.6.3 Survey

As stated above, the use of a survey is critical in ensuring that the research conducted in the case study can be tested, and therefore verified. The nature of a quantitative study of this nature is that it provides a great deal of raw information that must then be analysed. In doing so, it is possible to show that the value of the research is high, and that there are a number of key factors to be considered. Although qualitative research and quantitative methodologies are often contrasted as being essentially opposite ends of the continuum, the extent to which they can be used to complement one another is often overlooked (de Vaus, 2002: 5). As such, given the relatively limited resources available, the mixed methodology is the most optimal.  

1.6.4 Summary and Conclusion

The summary and conclusion section will be the one that highlights the key findings of the work, as well as discusses the issues that have emerged throughout the different avenues of research, perhaps by contrasting different findings in different methodologies. The nature of the research question is somewhat binary - focusing on the extent to which an architect either is or is not an asset on a small residential project, and as such, there will require no analysis of data or figures. Instead, the focus of the final section will be on justification of conclusions and on areas of future research that have emerged throughout the course of the work.

1.7 Dissertation Layout

Based on the outline of the work that has been identified above, the layout of the dissertation will be as follows.

1.7.1 Literature Review

The literature review will begin by examining the nature of architecture in the UK (2.1), looking at issues such as the nature of the way that different projects have been used in order to attempt to socially engineer different situations in Britain. This will then go on to talk about innovations within architecture (2.2), which is one of the primary reasons why architects are commission. Another issue that will be discussed is that of stakeholder management (2.3), which is centred on the idea that that the architect has the capacity to draw together key actors. The next thing to be considered will be that of architecture in different residential environments (2.4), and particularly the extent to which architects are used for different projects by different people. Next, there will be a discussion as to the nature of urban planning regulations (2.5), which is one of the key strengths that an architect may be able to bring to a project, regardless of size. Finally, there will be a discussion of negligence (2.6) as an issue. The literature review will be subdivided into various different sections based around these key issues, and will draw from as wide a range of sources as is available.

1.7.2 Case Studies

The two case studies will be discussed individually. Firstly, there will be the case study of a home extension project (3.2). Secondly, there will be the discussion of the nature of a new build (3.3) Both of these will be compared in a conclusion and findings section (3.4)


1.7.3 Survey

The first section of the survey section will discuss the development of the questions, as well as provide a justification for the manner of their construction (4.1) The survey data that is collected will be displayed in terms of a table of results, as well as a discussion of the key figures (4.2). These will then be analysed and developed in a conclusion and findings section (4.3).  

1.7.4 Summary and Conclusions

The summary and conclusions section will make comment on each of the empirical data sections individually (5.1). These will then be drawn together via an analysis section (5.2). Finally, there will be a section concluding the work as a whole (5.3), that will then lead into a future research section, outlining the possibilities for the future student (5.4).


The purpose of this literature review is to gain a theoretical understanding of the key issues that are involved in the course of this work, and to identify a number of potential avenues of further study. The core thesis of this work is that architects are of less value in a small residential project than they are from a macro perspective, and this is something that will be examined through a thorough analysis of the literature. By analysing the key issues, and the debates that exist within the academic field, it will be possible to build a framework for the remainder of the research, and for this to be tested with the use of later empirical study. Where there is debate and division within the literature, hypotheses can be developed, and these can be further investigated. Where there is consensus, it will be possible to understand a number of deeper issues that exist. By conducting a thorough literature review, it will increase the academic value of the research, as well as gain a sense of the important areas of further study. There are a number of academic sources available, and as such, the literature review will be able to provide a deep academic overview of major issues within the field. This can then be drawn together to develop a conclusion, and to point the remainder of the work in a particular direction or directions.

2.1 UK Architecture

Architecture within the UK has a number of distinct characteristics. In particular, architects have played a major role in large scale projects in attempting to ensure that social engineering policies have been successful. This has included the building of cheap housing, and increasingly, in recent years, developing homes that are environmentally sustainable. This is something that has had much capacity in building the link between architects and projects in the minds of individuals commissioning projects, when in reality this is not always warranted. As has been stated in the Introduction (above), the success of architects in large projects does not correlate to those in small projects.

In assessing the nature of the use of architects in small residential projects, it is necessary also to consider the case of UK architecture in general. Within the literature, there is much information pertaining to the subject, and this is something that shows not only that UK architecture is distinct from architecture elsewhere in the world, but also that it is regularly changing. This takes place in terms not only of architectural styles, but also in terms of governmental policy. Increasingly, since the Second World War, the rise of the welfare state has brought housing under the aegis of the government, and this leads to an enmeshment of politics and architecture, both of which are critical for the nature of this work. The post-1945 housing boom was precipitated by both widespread destruction as well as governmental desires to create cheap housing as part of its welfare provisions. The work of various Ministers of Housing during the period 1945-1979 was centred upon the idea of creating a large number of cheap homes for poorer families, and this was something that fundamentally shaped the nature of British architecture - designed to be functional rather than aesthetically pleasing (O’Hara, 2012). This was a challenge that was readily accepted by the architectural community, many of whom were excited at the opportunity of working from scratch in bombed-out cities, and in particular with the use of new materials, such as concrete. As Bullock (2002) writes, this is something that was met with a great deal of enthusiasm by the architectural community: "The new phase of [postwar] reconstruction offered unprecedented opportunities for architects and, potentially, for the development of modern architecture. The rebuilding of city centres and the return to commercial building meant the design and construction of a range of building types that had not been built since the beginning of the war." (Bullock, 2002: 245) This provides much of the groundwork, therefore, for the link between architecture, social housing, and governmental policy-making, all of which will be discussed in further detail throughout the course of this work.

2.1.1 Home Zones

One area where architects have broadly been successful is in the creation in new types of living areas, based upon modern principles of space. Again, although these take place on a macro level, they are excellent evidence for the fact that architects can develop successful residential projects. Many of the developments are orchestrated at a governmental level, and filter down to council policy. In recent years, governments have intervened in the housing market, attempting at once to stimulate the market whilst also ensuring that poorer people are not priced out of it. One of the most recent developments in the nature of social housing has been the emergence of ‘home zones’ (Biddulph, 2003). Home zones are an improvement on the traditional housing estate, and aim to cut the links between roads and cars, by replacing them with paved areas suitable for children to play on, and to share as communal spaces. As Biddulph (2002) writes, "Imagine a street where vehicles travel at about walking pace and where pedestrians using the street can share the carriageway with vehicle users. Imagine a street where paving replaces the grey tarmac and where space has been created for more trees, flowers and shrubs. Imagine a street where people can use seating to sit out and chat to neighbours...Such an environment would be called a home zone." (Biddulph, 2002: 1) This shows the extent to which it is possible for architects to shape an environment, and where in the planning stage, there can be major gains on behalf of those who are planning to live in an environment. Home zones are increasingly representative of a move away from utilitarian principles of social housing. What this shows is that the nature of governmental architecture is changing. No longer is it the case that architects are being commissioned to produce a number of cheap houses, but instead, there is a sense that the idea of being able to live in a particular space is crucial in shaping the way that architects design residential projects such as this. The focus has therefore shifted so as to include the community in the project. Architecture, therefore, in the twenty-first century is increasingly concerned with the nature of community-building, and has therefore taken on a far more sociological perspective. This represents a major sea-change in the nature of architecture in the UK, although superficially it is simply a change in the architectural fashion or style, in reality something greater has taken place (Bright, 2009). Naturally, there is a distinction between urban planning of this nature and commissioning an architect on a private project, although this shows that what is conceived of by architects and town planners is fundamentally changing.

2.1.2 Class

As well as there being a difference in the use of an architect based on whether the project is large or small, there is also the extent to which a project differs based on the extent to which it has a sociological purpose. There exists within the literature a sense that there is a class sublimation when it comes to the success of architects. Architects are useful in creating social housing for poorer families. In addition, they are able to construct large homes for those of a higher socio-economic status. However, for middle class projects, or ones associated with the middle classes, architects may be less useful. There is a sense that the commissioning of an architect has a strong sense of upward mobility to it, and thus it may be as much of a status symbol as the construction project itself. However, this is not something that is necessarily borne out by the reality of the project.  Within the UK in general, there is a strong element of class that is strongly linked with the idea of social housing. Ever since the nineteenth century, the nature of class has been intrinsically linked with the idea of housing, which in turn has been linked with many ‘improvement’ projects. Reformers in the nineteenth century realised the sociological aspect of housing, and in particular the extent to which the great urban slums were a hotbed of disease and crime (Bourke, 2012). Ever since this period, there has been a sense that the manner and nature of housing was the means to solve a myriad number of problems, and to ensure that class issues were dealt with. Housing therefore serves as a synecdoche for talking about class in modern Britain. Much regeneration that has taken place in various areas has centred upon the idea of the gentrification of communities (Boddy, 2007). This refers to a distancing from a working-class past, and instead, a move towards a more upwardly mobile future. This is particularly evident in city centres, where there has been a shift from working-class housing to regeneration that has priced many urban poor out of the housing market. Much of the literature focuses on the different social aspects of housing (Atkinson and Flint, 2004). However, there are some potential challenges to this, namely in the fact that further research has shown there to be a disparity in terms of access to green spaces. Despite initial impressions, those of a lower socio-economic background actually have a higher rate of access to parks and other urban spaces. As Barbosa et al. (2007) write, "While access to public green space varies significantly across different social groups, those enjoying the greatest access include more deprived groups and older people. This study highlights the need for additional green space to be created and existing green space to be protected in light of increasing development pressure." (Barbosa et al., 2007: 187) This shows that the link between class and housing is stratified, and that there are a number of related issues that are intrinsically linked within the phenomenon.

2.1.3 Community

Architects have been extremely successful throughout the postwar period in developing a sense of community. The above section made the link between class and housing, and stated that this was very much a viable link to examine in the course of this work. Ancillary to the nature of class and housing, there is a related issue - that of community. Community refers to the interpersonal interactions and the social cohesion within a particular space. Naturally, it is linked with both class (as well as culture) and with housing. One of the most important aspects of community is that fostering a sense of belonging. Increasingly, the contemporary architect is being seen as being the primary executor of this policy. Community has become, rather than utilitarianism or function, one of the primary drivers of the nature of architecture, particularly that orchestrated by the government. Paradoxically, the great Keynesian communitarian period post-war saw the building of houses designed to create independence for the individual. Since the neoliberal period under Thatcher and beyond, architects have begun to focus on more communitarian buildings. Whatever the rationale, this has been one of the major developments of the last twenty years (Katz, 1993). The development of communities is something that is being regarded as increasingly important in shaping the way that different groups interact within a shared space. There has been an important shift in the last fifty years that has shown that architecture itself has the capacity to alter the way that a community regards itself. Creating positive spaces helps to create a positive sense of community, and this is critical in moulding the attitudes of those that live therein. Clayden, Mckoy and Wild (2006) conducted a longitudinal study into a community in Sheffield, and found that: "different factors, which include design quality, community consultation, funding and street typology, may impact upon the potential of home zones to meet their objective of improving liveability. The Sheffield case studies illustrate the potential of alternative design the design context and in addressing community needs." (Clayden, Mckoy and Wild, 2006: 55) This therefore highlights the extent to which the development of a strong and coherent community (a marked governmental priority) is bundled up with the role of the architect in creating spaces that are shared and enjoyed by a number of different people.

2.1.4 Security

One of the most common projects from a small residential project is one that is based upon increasing the security of a property. These are extremely small projects, and one that certainly do not require the work of an architect. However, many people feel compelled to commission one, on the basis that they are not always aware of the alternatives. Therefore, despite the fact that architects are often tasked with developing shared spaces, sometimes their role is the opposite. In addition to the duty of the architect to create spaces that are positive, in order to foster a sense of community, there is also the duty of the architect to avoid creating potentially negative spaces. Although crime is more than a feature of poor architecture, creating ‘blind spots’ and areas without adequate lighting, for example, has the capacity to exacerbate particular issues with regard to crime and security. Increasingly, town planners and other architects have realised that architecture is a potential solution to issues related to security (Raco, 2003). However, there is an extent to which the nature of security is another means of addressing class-based tensions. In a number of middle class areas, security refers to the enclosement of various spaces, and a sense of hostility towards those of a lower socio-economic status. Increasingly, therefore, a gap is emerging between those who live in working class areas, and those who live in middle class areas, and the conflict is rooted in the idea of security. In any analysis of this subject, the nature of conflict and alienation in the creation of community simply must be considered. Increasingly, however, the class fracturing that has occurred as a result of neoliberal economics has played a major role in shaping how it is that different architectural movements interact. The rise of neoliberalism has coincided with a rise in gated communities, and the sense of individualism and decline of society that this implies. What this shows is that the role of architecture in the UK has a highly socialised approach. Governmental (and by extension local government) policies relating to housing are designed to have social implications as well as architectural ones. Although a number of gated communities may suggest a stratification of British society with regard to housing, there is also a sense that the solution to potential stratification may come itself through architecture. However, the overarching point on which the literature agrees is that there is a real sense that governmental policy is fundamentally rooted in the idea that architecture has the capacity to alter behaviour and to shape communities. This can be a uniting force that creates positive communities, or a dividing force that helps to fragment different groups within society. The difference is one of boundaries and of divisions.

2.2 Architectural Innovation

One of the key supposed benefits of using an architect on a project is the ability to innovate, and to develop new ideas and approaches. This is something that is touted throughout the literature as being one of the key aspects of architecture. Indeed, such is the weight of material supporting the idea that an architect is able to innovate in terms of both design and material, that it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that this simply is the case. Indeed, it would be unwise for an amateur to plan a project using a new design or new materials, and it would perhaps be lucky to pass the inspection of the building surveyor. Certainly, for those looking to build in a new way, or use new techniques or materials, an architect is an invaluable resource. This then represents one of the benefits of using an architect, although is far from the same as saying that architects are always useful. As Carayannnis, Gonzalez and Wetter (2003) write, there is a clear sense that architecture and architects in general are able to continually innovate in a manner that is constantly improving: "Architectural innovations serve to extend the radical-incremental classification of innovation and introduce the notion of changes in the way in which the components of a product or system are linked together." (Carayannis, Gonzalez and Wetter, 2003: 120) Architecture has long been interested in the means by which modernity could be embraced, and on the capacity of buildings to be more than simply architectural representations of sketches. In this manner, the innovation of architects can dovetail with that of the government in attempting to meld the nature of architecture with that of social engineering (Poole, 2012). Both have the capacity to work together to alter the nature of communities. Innovation, however, can be dangerous if it is innovation for its own sake. Instead, there must be consideration of the nature of the way that innovation takes place, and of the potential solutions and outputs of new techniques. For example, many of the post-war architects attempts to innovate with the use of concrete and high rise buildings. However, half a century on, many of these are being removed as eyesores, and have not seen the result that the original architects wished for. This is therefore an important point to make in terms of innovation - that it must be considered and related to the time in which it was created, rather than simply based on innovation for its own sake. The ramifications of this have the capacity not only to improve the nature of the way that projects take place, but also to shape the way that different processes are interlinked. As Frenken (2006) states: "Importantly...architectural innovations often have severe organisational consequences. Unlike a simple mutation in a string, which requires new knowledge of a particular new component, successful architectural innovation requires more complex knowledge as the whole assembly process putting parts together is reorganised." (Frenken, 2006: 40) The streamlining of processes is one of the key architectural innovations of recent times, and is something that has greatly reduced the cost and the time required to create a major structure. Therefore, there is a sense that the nature of innovation often best demonstrates itself through the means of process and efficiency rather than through materials and resources. This is critical in understanding how and why different projects may require architects.

2.2.1 Fordism

One of the key exemplars of this architectural movement came in the Fordist movement. It was this movement that fundamentally altered the way that processes were streamlined. Although Fordism is fundamentally a mechanical means of production, it was used in many respects as part of a wider artistic movement, and came to be one of the key aspects of modern design. Although this has been increasingly shunned in recent years, and has been superseded by other artistic movements, there is also a key sense that the way that Fordism approached design was a way that did much to greatly innovate the field of architecture. As Kaminer (2011) writes, "The perceived failure of modernism was the result of a shift from industrial to a post-industrial society and the eclipse of Fordism. The logic of mass-production, internalized by modernism in its attempt to adapt the discipline to the ideas and realities of industrial production, created an environment and a social order that was rejected by the logic of post-Fordism as overtly and excessively objectivized." (Kaminer, 2011: 67) In addition to this, there is also the sense that Fordism greatly reduced the cost of a wide range of houses. Throughout the Western world, the rise of mass-produced housing did much to create a generation of homeowners. Again, although many of these simple houses have been derided, this is missing the key aspect of their creation. As Gartman (2009) states: "Drawing on the ideas of Progressive reformers early in the century, Abraham Levitt saw the boxlike bungalow design as simple and efficient. It conveyed the individualism of agrarian life, while simultaneously asserting a community through conformity to established aesthetic standards." (Gartman, 2009: 223) The legacy of Fordism therefore remains in many respects, especially given the fact that many processes continue to be improved in terms of efficiency and logistics, despite an ending of a mass-production of homes.

2.2.2 Modernism

Fordism is often regarded as being synonymous with modernism. However, there are subtle, but important distinctions made throughout the literature on the subject. For example, there are those who argue that whilst Fordism is dead, its legacy is modernism, and this has continued to shape the way that many different processes of home-building take place. Modernism is one of the most pervasive terms throughout the literature, although perhaps the one that has the least sense of consistency. This is therefore critical in ensuring that it is perhaps perceived differently to how it operates in actuality. The nature of modernism is an attempt to deviate from the style of the past. In an architectural context this involves a divergence from form, function and materials, and almost a deliberate rejection of that which preceded it (Gold, 1997). Like modernism in other creative arts, modernism broadly lasted a generation between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s, after which it was supplanted by post-modernism. However, its legacy lives on in many British buildings, and particularly in the way that architecture has developed in Britain. Although many British buildings echo traditional constructions, the modernist period made it more acceptable to challenge the ideas of the past, and architects became regarded as innovators. The link between architecture and social engineers became cemented (if that term is not too trite in this circumstance) during the modernist period, and is something that has not diminished in the intervening years.

As has been stated above, there is a clear sense that the nature of building a community and shaping behaviours is fundamentally rooted in the idea of modernism. There is an intrinsic sense within modernism that external environments have the capacity to shape the nature of behaviour, and of the development of communities. This is something that is fundamentally therefore linked with the idea of modern architectural approach. As Herrle (2008) writes, there are many aspects of the modern environment that are fundamentally linked with the need for a new architectural approach: "As we passed through ‘modernism’, the forces of globalization and the ever-growing IT-industry surging us on yet another spiral of societal and individual development, uprootedness and lack of identity continue to be issues of concern." (Herrle, 2008: 13) The modern world is becoming increasingly modular in terms of interpersonal interactions, and this is something that has the capacity to be either exacerbated or undermined by different architectural styles. Increasingly it is being addressed by the tenets of modernism, rather than emphasised. This is the primary distinction between Fordism and modernism, therefore.

2.3 Management of Stakeholders

One of the key benefits identified within the literature with regard to the employment of architects comes from the fact that architects are able to manage stakeholders to a more optimal degree than are those who are not trained in the field. The number of potential stakeholders in a project, whether government-led or private, can be extremely large, and thus there is a major need to ensure that different stakeholders are balanced to ensure that the project can progress as smoothly as possible. This then is a further benefit to the use of an architect. However, the consensus within the literature can be challenged to a certain extent by the fact that the architect is not trained to deal with managing large amounts of people. Although an architect will be able to liaise with different stakeholders, he or she will be no better placed in many small projects that the client. Relying on an architect to do this is to employ someone overqualified to do the work that is relatively simple. Indeed, on a small project, the chance that an architect will be on-site, or even willing and able to ensure that different stakeholders are satisfied is unlikely, and therefore is something that must be examined to a greater extent. Architects could simply be replaced with a project manager in the vast majority of cases, or even dispensed with altogether in small projects. Since modernism within the field is about the streamlining of processes, and ensuring that different processes take place as efficiently as possible, there is a key sense that it is necessary to balance stakeholders to ensure that different groups do not hold up key aspects of the building process. This is a diplomatic as much as a logistical process. As Nash and Chinyio (2010) write, "Apart from urgency, stakeholders also have different levels of power with which they can influence the course of a project. They have power to be either a threat or benefit to an organisation (Gibson 2000). The power of stakeholders could be high or low depending on their involvement in the project and what they are expected to contribute." (Nash and Chinyio, 2010: 3) Therefore, the different power dynamics can be extremely complex, and therefore must be managed with great care. An architect, although the designer of the project, must continually liaise with different stakeholders, and ultimately it is he or she who will be able to develop creative solutions to prospective issues that can ultimately hinder a project. Balancing these different groups, therefore, is one of the key roles of the architect. That is not to say that an architect is operating as a project manager, but rather that an architect can not only design the project, but can operate within a consultancy framework in order to address potential issues. As Kemp (2005) writes, "On a project, there are always at least three groups with different perspectives - the customer, the project manager, and the technical people...The project manager simply has to meet with each of these groups, give them all a picture and a description of the project, and then coordinate the ideas and changes from each group across all the other groups and into the project work plan, budget and schedule." (Kemp, 2005: 138) Ensuring that the budget and other different aspects of the project are retained is something that is not always possible without an architect on hand. In addition, the presence of an architect allows plans to change relatively flexibly, and with minimal effort. In essence, an architect is able to retain the important features whilst abandoning those that are less important. This enables a project to run far more smoothly. Therefore, this aspect of stakeholder management is something that can provide a key practical benefit of using an architect within a project. As Nash et al. (2010) writes, "Stakeholders interact with each other in diverse ways in the course of a project. Stakeholder management is a part of project management that requires inta alia good communication and relationship networks." (Nash et al., 2010: 472) The tangibility of this benefit is something that therefore has the capacity to greatly shape the nature of the project, and will need to be assessed throughout the work through the use of a series of questionnaires, since it is hypothesised that the ability of an architect to manage stakeholders is one of the most tangible benefits that he or she can provide.