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The essential value of architects: Flora Samuel’s design manifesto

Professor Flora Samuel will argue that architects must do more to explain their value to the public in a talk at the Sydney Opera House, which will take place as part of the Sydney Architecture Festival.

The talk, on 30 September, will draw on Samuel’s book Why Architects Matter: Evidencing and Communicating the Value of Architect, which was published in April, and is being heralded as “a new manifesto for design professionals.” The book looks at how research- led architecture can promote innovation and sustainability in a number of fields, and how this value is lost as architects are progressively marginalized from the design and building of the built environment.

“Currently architects generate much more value than they capture,” Samuel writes in the book. “The inefficiencies and ineptitudes of some architects reflect badly on the excellent collaborative spatial problem-solving skills of others, the overall result being that this highly skilled and resourceful workforce is being marginalized from the production of our homes and cities.”

In a review for the Royal Institute of British Architects’ Journal, Piers Taylor wrote that Samuel ”demonstrates [that] not only do many non-architects not even know what we do, but we are very bad at presenting the case for why we are useful – let alone essential.”

The book is based on extensive research and access to new built environment practitioner research from across the globe.

Samuel is the first person to hold the position of Vice President of Research at the Royal Institute of British Architects and the first woman to hold the post of Professor of the Built Environment at the University of Reading’s School of Architecture.

For more information on the event, go here.

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