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The architect: between service and work


In Evette (T.) et Thibault (E.) (dir.) Interprofessionnalité et action collective dans les métiers de la conception - Cahiers Ramau n° 2, éditions de la Villette, Paris, 2001, 266 p.

| Articles in peer reviewed scientific journals

After having discussed prior works and given some elements of definition of work and of service, highlighting how these terms and notions can be opposed, the aim of this article is precisely to understand the building architects’ activity through these two notions. The author begins with the reproaches often aimed at architects by those they are dealing with (starting with what can be found in the literature, as in Flaubert for example, continuing with recent architectural theories, and then advice given to those commissioning buildings). The author then tries to understand the particular incentives of the dialogue between architects and clients or the end users of their work. While limiting the survey to the French context, the author studies what architects do using a survey of the activity of an architecture agency, bringing to light the way designers reinterpret services to the benefit of their architectural work. After having shown how architects often focus on the architectural object, seeming to forsake those who live in it or use it, the author then explains this choice by reconsidering the question of architectural clients expectations of services.