No Architect Is an Island: The Agency-Communality Spectrum and the Construction of Professional Identity in Architecture | The Plan Journal

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Annelise Pitts
Julia Mandell

Findings from the 2018 Equity in Architecture Survey demonstrate that architectural professionals tend to describe their work in terms of personal agency rather than communality. This pattern in architectural practitioners’ work orientations is associated with two major obstacles to achieving equity within the architectural profession. First, the practitioners who are most satisfied with their work are typically more communally oriented, suggesting that architecture’s overemphasis on the professional self may limit potential pathways to positive experiences of one’s work. Secondly, women in the profession face significant bias as they embody the stereotypically agentic professional archetypes of the Creative or the Rainmaker, but are also undervalued when they adopt communally-oriented, but lower status, professional personas. We conclude by proposing two parallel strategies intended to improve professional outcomes by addressing the adverse effects of agency-orientation in architectural practice. 

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