Architecture and Planning ETDs

Publication Date



An examination of the nature of professionalism serves as a model against which the emergence of architecture as a profession can be compared. In what manner and for what reasons the architect eventually distinguished himself from the construction process is examined historically. Particular attention is paid to the evolution of the profession in England as an antecedent for similar developments in the United States. The professionalization of architecture prompted a continuous interaction of ethics and law with recent years witnessing a serious questioning of professional ethics by society through the tool of law. It is shown that ethical codes must be responsive to the changing needs of society. The increasing fragmentation of the building industry has resulted in no single authority being responsible for control of time, cost, and quality. It is asserted that such responsibility is the criterion by which the building professional' s performance will be judged. The shortcomings of the architect working through the traditional building process in satisfying this criterion are discussed. It appears that the complexity of modern building demands a closer integration of design and construction than the traditional method affords if this criterion is to be met. Trends in this direction are examined in light of their ethical, legal, and economic implications for the profession. It is concluded that the fragmentation of the construction industry may provide the opportunity for its control and that the architect may seize this assuming augmentation of his basic skills as a generalist and coordinator. Only through successful control of time, cost, and quality can he preserve his traditional function as designer. No single approach will satisfy all design and construction situations. Therefore, the architect should not be limited in his experimentation with new organizational approaches by a restrictive ethical code or a single concept of his traditional role.



Document Type


Degree Name


Second Degree


Level of Degree


Department Name

School of Architecture and Planning

First Committee Member (Chair)

Don Paul Schlegel

Second Committee Member


Third Committee Member

Bob Lockwood

Included in

Architecture Commons