Entrepreneurship for unsettled times in the architectural profession – A review
Keywords:architectural practice, entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship education, complementary practice
Internationally, the architectural profession is doing introspection and debating its future role and relevance. In South Africa, the profession, like others in the built-environment sector, is under pressure, due to political and economic uncertainties and a low growth rate. While many voices call for a greater emphasis on the business aspect of architectural practice, this review article suggests that, in addition, if architects were to adopt a more entrepreneurial approach – as many have already done – the profession could gain new ground and fresh relevance. In support of this suggestion, the article proposes how the inclusion of entrepreneurship education into architectural education can inculcate an entrepreneurial attitude. Based on a literature study, the article provides examples of entrepreneurial endeavours by architects in practice. The study found that entrepreneurial architects have created opportunities not only for themselves, but also for others, including persons who previously enjoyed hardly any benefit from architects; that entrepreneurial architects can practise away from mainstream locations; that the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution might bring a host of entrepreneurial opportunities to those who are ready and have an entrepreneurial mindset; that entrepreneurial architects seem willing to share and help others who wish to follow, and that entrepreneurship and good design are not incompatible. A further finding was that the profession in general benefits, and will continue to do so, from the entrepreneurial endeavours of its members. A change of mindset was found to be the main factor prohibiting support for the notion that architectural education should include entrepreneurial outcomes into current and new programmes. Finally, it emerged that there is a need for support in the form of mentorship, incubators, and support groups from professional organisations such as the South African Institute of Architects.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Christo Vosloo
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