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Architect and craftsperson: project perceptions, relationships and craft

Djabarouti, Johnathan ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1326-7199 and O'Flaherty, Christopher (2020) Architect and craftsperson: project perceptions, relationships and craft. Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research, 14 (3). pp. 423-438. ISSN 1938-7806

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Abstract

Purpose Architects and craftspeople work together on complicated built heritage projects as part of a diverse multidisciplinary team. Effective interactions and collaborations between them can lead to a more successful project outcome; however, differing perceptions of each other can cause professional relationship tensions, communicative barriers and disharmony. Design/methodology/approach Through the analysis of online surveys completed by architects and craftspeople, this study examines the contemporary relationship between the two groups, including the architect's perceptions of the function of traditional building craft within their day-to-day role. Findings Findings suggest that whilst both groups agree that the craftsperson is an essential specialist on a built heritage scheme, there are contradictory perceptions with regard to the architect's role. Despite these differences, the results suggest that architects are open to accommodating more exposure to craftspeople and traditional building craft within their day-to-day role – believing they would learn more about building materials, make better practical decisions and understand craftspeople better. More importantly, this study proposes that a focus on craft would break down communicative and perceptual barriers, in turn improving relationships and project outcomes. Originality/value The study strongly suggests that traditional building craft can form an essential, tangible bond between architects and craftspeople by increasing focus on relationships and learning. The insights offered are relevant not only to those in the fields of architecture and traditional building craft but also to those involved in heritage management, as well as other professional roles, who may benefit from the use of craft as a method to repair professional relationships, as well as historic buildings.

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