Infographic: What Do Architects Actually Do?

Few architects actually design buildings. So what do they do all day?

When most people think of an architect, they think of someone who designs buildings. But in reality, building design is only one subset of the profession. In most European countries, for instance, only about half of all architects design buildings, while the rest work in interior design, landscape architecture, or other fields, according to a recent infographic from this year's Venice Biennale of Architecture.

Courtesy of OMA

Office for Metropolitan Architecture, the firm founded by this year's Biennale curator Rem Koolhaas, put together a chart detailing what kind of work European architects from different countries do, dividing architectural work into four categories: building design, landscape design, interior design, and "other," which encompasses work like feasibility studies, project management, and planning. Based on a report from the Italian research center CRESME and Italy's national council of architects, it shows what percentage of architects in each country are employed in each category of design.

The chart highlights how many jobs in architecture aren't actually design: 41% of Danish architects are employed in the "other" category, as well as 37% of Italian architects. The Netherlands has the highest percentage of architects actively engaged in designing buildings, at 69%, as well as the highest proportion of landscape architects, at 11%. In most other countries, landscape design is a small field, representing less than 5% of the profession. Interior design, by contrast, makes up 10% to 20% of architecture occupations in most countries. Unfortunately, that's the one occupation you shouldn't head to the Netherlands for—interior designers represent only 2% of architects there.

[h/t [i]ArchDaily[/i]]

[Photo: Purekaab via Shutterstock]

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