Profession Sub-Products over Time

BCE—900 CE
For the purposes of religion, belief, and/or symbolic systems, Master Builders manifest the will of statemen and royalty.

900—1450 In Medieval Europe Master Masons participate in the guild framework, their works and organization are regulated by city government whereby the king or state issue privileges to identified guilds overseen by local town business authorities. Professional organizations today mimic the guild platform, requiring a form of apprenticeship (logging hours having worked for “x” firm/Architect) before the ability of gaining professional certification (licensure).  

It was in this period that universities emerged through the guild structure. Universities Ast Bologna established in 1088 and the oldest university in the world in operation originated as an organized guild of students; the University of Paris, established in 1150, originated as a guild of masters. The Renaissance Architect emerges as an intellectual role distinct from labor/construction roles. 


Two further examples, particular to the architecture industry, include the Academie Royale D’Architecture established in 1671, and Ecole des Beaux Arts established in 1816 France.

The French Revolution, 1789, saw the opposition of government control with preference towards laissez-faire. In short, the French Revolution viewed guilds as a last remnant of feudalism.


Laissez-faire is favored through the Le Chapelier Law 1791, suppressing both guilds and trade unions in France. Around the same time in the U.S., the Napoleonic Code 1803 bans any coalition of workmen. According to Brittanica the code reads: “Under code all male citizens are equal: primogeniture, hereditary nobility, class privileges extinguished; civilian institutions are emancipated from ecclesiastical control; freedom of person, freedom of contract, and inviolability of private property are fundamental principles.”

In architecture, from the 1830’s to the 1990’s, governing architectural bodies develop. For the States, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) is founded in New York in 1857 followed by the Uniform Contract of 1888 wherein the document gave the Architect an immense hand in resolving timely disputes arising under a construction contract


Following governing bodies, the industry of architecture standardizes. Traced to Frank Mile Day’s AIA Contract & Specs Chairmanship as a component of this occurrence, the first Handbook of Architectural Practice comes to fruition in 1914. Two years later, the Owner & Architect Agreement standardizes in 1916.

Henry-Russell Hitchcock, American architectural historian, predicts the future of architecture roles in his 1947 article “Architecture of Bureaucracy and the Architecture of Genius.”

New forms of an Architect emerge during this time such as the Architect-Developer and the Architect-Technologist, stated under the umbrella of “Architect-Initiator” with the onset of new software and Web 1.0.

The Great Recession of 2008 causes the industry to search widely for architecture-adjacent platforms in which to survive, leading to newer and more advanced forms of Architect-Inititator to emerge and gain prevalence with the onset of Web 2.0, further softwares, and the formation of blockchain and NFT’s. The tension of industry-wide age-old working conditions are brought to the fore with founding of The Architecture Lobby (T-A-L) in 2013. Today, the Architect assumes democratization of information and software, yet grapples with her industry’s agency precisely due to this democratization.