This article reports on a qualitative study into the
actions, practices and attitudes that allowed a sample
of South African architects’ firms to be regarded as
enduring. Architects considering starting their own
firms, or those who have started their own firms in
the recent and not-so-recent past, can benefit from the
experience of the 26 enduring architects’ firms studied.
In the words of David Littlefield: Too many architects make too bad a living, a problem that
is largely the result of believing that quality design will
inevitably lead to decent clients and a fair income. The
truth is that the business dimension of an architectural
practice is no less important than producing the drawings.
After a literature review, the study followed a qualitative
methodology comprising semi-structured interviews
with the founder or most senior partner of the firms
identified with the assistance of the South African
Institute of Architects (SAIA). The sample was drawn
from architects’ firms in the four major metropolitan
areas of South Africa as well as two firms from rural
areas. Reference will be made to a parallel quantitative
study that canvased all architects and candidate
architects registered with the South African Council
for the Architectural Profession (SACAP).
This article contains content
compiled and findings made as part of a PhD study " Vosloo, C. 2017. A framework for entrepreneurship education and training for South African
Architects. Unpublished PhD (Architecture) thesis. University of Pretoria: Pretoria".