The architect as a system integrator?

Barbara Renier*, Leentje Volker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
13 Downloads (Pure)


Innovation is an important topic in the Dutch building industry. Studies on innovation usually focus on constructing parties, more in particular on their possibilities of forward integration into the building process. Conducting research on process innovation from the perspective of designers is not as common. Lourens (2006) stated that, based on indicators such as the level of innovative power in entrepreneurship and process integration, about 30% of design firms in the Netherlands could be described as an innovative organisation. In theory, therefore, architectural designers may be expected to make a valuable contribution to innovation and integration in the area of construction. The present study will focus on the reason why designers have made a limited contribution to process innovation so far. It will focus on the activities of architectural practices in the Netherlands in connection with innovation and integration. A literature review has served as a basis to set criteria on what architects as a system integrator should achieve. We selected four architectural firms that are currently known to be innovators and/or system integrators, and held interviews with them in respect of their design and process strategies. The results of the interviews were discussed in a workshop with parties from the industry. This paper will discuss the results of the interviews and the workshop on the architectural firms' system integration. The study will highlight the competences required from architects in respect of system integration and it will assess the indicators for innovation from the perspective of designers in the construction industry.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAssociation of Researchers in Construction Management, ARCOM 2008 - Proceedings of the 24th Annual Conference
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes
Event24th Annual ARCOM Conference 2008 - Cardiff, United Kingdom
Duration: 1 Sep 20083 Sep 2008
Conference number: 24


Conference24th Annual ARCOM Conference 2008
Abbreviated titleARCOM 2008
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Architectural practice
  • Design strategy
  • Innovation
  • System integration


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