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Working Papers

Architecture Razzle-Dazzle

Working paper #687
Witold Rybczynski

The increased complexity of the building delivery process has led to the development to two distinct models for architectural firms. The first is the large, multi-national firm that delivers a wide array of architectural and engineering services. Such firms dominate the scene: in 2008, only 2 percent of AIA member-owned firms had 100 or more employees, but these firms accounted for 30 percent of all architectural employment and more than a third of all billings. The design architect/executive architect model separates design development from construction documentation and supervision. Many clients regard this model as back-stopping unpredictable creative talent with proven technical and managerial expertise. The current recession is likely to increase the trend to design teams that offer a comprehensive array of services.

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