Role of architects not understood very well, says Dubai-based architect

Dubai-based X-Architects co-founder, Ahmed Al Ali, says one of the greatest challenges facing Middle East architects at present, is how the profession is viewed by the society.

The role of the architect in the Middle Eastern region is important, but undervalued, according to Al Ali.

“Yes, we’re definitely facing challenges here. It’s not very well understood by society in general what the role of an architect is, and could be,” says Al-Ali.

He admits it is a new concept in this part of the world where, in his opinion, architects not only provide commercial projects, but also bring value in terms of cultural and social aspects.

“Architects are viewed as service providers rather than contributors to culture. It has to change,” he added.


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2 Responses to Role of architects not understood very well, says Dubai-based architect

  1. Fatma says:

    I totally agree with this, architects are so undervalued and appreciated here. People think architects (and designers in general) just scribble a few drawings and that’s it! In my opinion, architecture is the single most important part of development.

  2. Will says:

    I agree very much with Ahmed, but this is a universal problem. Even in the west the role of the architect is little understood, in particular the creative aspects and the time and effort that is involved in getting this right. Investments in creativity will pay massive dividends in terms of what the building that results can achieve, and yet fee bargaining can almost destroy that element of a commission; fees are so tight that once all the fixed elements are accounted for – drafting, printing, negotiating with authorities, and so forth – there may be little or nothing left fordesigning and refining. Do clients understand what they are doing to their projects when they pressuirise fees? Perhaps not. We need to explain to them better what we do, and what we CAN do for them and the Emirates if properly supported

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