This aim of this strategic report has been to consolidate existing knowledge across Europe and develop next steps to be addressed by ACE in demonstrating the value of design and the role of architects.
A call for evidence on methodologies for evidencing the value of architects and architectural design distributed through ACE networks in July 2018 resulted in a patchy and thin response despite considerable efforts to communicate it to colleagues in education and practice. The conclusion is that very little is currently known about work on evidencing the value of architects in Europe and that strategy is needed to provide joined up thinking in this area.
Going forward the triple bottom line of sustainability: social, environmental and economic value and the relationships between them is a useful and common way of framing design value that has some traction with policy.
The mainstreaming of Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE), not just in terms of environmental performance but also in terms of more intangible aspects of social value, is key to the demonstration of value. ACE needs to develop a strategy to promote this increasingly important aspect of architectural practice.
Universities, practice and industry also need to work together to demonstrate value. In particular there is a need to develop the skill-base of practitioners and students in research and POE.
The review identified substantial gaps in knowledge that need to be filled. In particular viewpoints are needed from parts of Europe that gave no response, also from policy makers and clients.
It is vital to acknowledge the multi-disciplinary nature of architectural practice and the way in which the value of design and the role that architects play in it is framed.
Consensus on definitions are needed for capturing value. The more that these definitions can align with definitions used by policy makers the easier it will be to feed findings into policy and procurement which will impact on the future role of architects.