In 2016, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) identified that only 1/3 of architecture graduates will become practicing architects, prompting us to consider, what is an architectural education good for, if not a career in architecture and where is its in-use value re-situated? In 2017, a research group was formed to interrogate whether this statistic was reflected across Europe. Prior to the conception of this application, the consortium developed and launched a pre-application, quantitative, online survey prototype. The survey was distributed across Europe via a limited number of school alumni offices and social media networks and elicited over 2500 responses, which helped to affirm the integrity of the research aims and the need for pan-European data to be collected. Respondents were also invited to sign up if they were willing to participate in further qualitative studies, which has helped the research team to begin to build sections of the online database.
The early stage findings from this survey identified a range of innovative phenomena recurrent in most of the European countries, including:
(a) Intermediate results (N=2660) indicate that only 60% of the graduates are exclusively working in professional practice, leaving 40% occupied - full time or part time - outside architectural practice. (b) The skills architecture graduates working in architecture feel they are lacking (d) The skills that architecture graduates working in other sectors feel have retained their use and industrial application (c) The fractured nature of the architecture sector: with many respondents in architecture practice reporting that they also work across other sectors at the same time shows that architecture as a discipline is opening up, as the skills crossing into other fields occur to a great extent due to specificities of architectural education. It observes architecture outside its rigid definitions related only to practice and construction. (d) These findings direct to the re-evaluation of architecture education and architects’/architecture’s position in existing and emerging fields.