The Wellbeing of Architects is a comprehensive three year study – funded by the Australian Research Council Linkage Projects scheme – that aims to be the one of the first major studies to use interdisciplinary, qualitative and quantitative methods to address the question of how workplace cultures and professional identity affect wellbeing in architecture – and thus lay the foundations for practical improvements in the future.
Within architecture there is a strong perception, and overwhelming anecdotal evidence, of problems with wellbeing amongst both practitioners and students. There has been some compelling corroborating evidence from international studies, however the number and findings of these studies have been limited. This means that, in Australia, despite the general consensus that there are problems with work-related wellbeing within the discipline, there is insufficient evidence to conclusively demonstrate that there is a problem, let alone what should be done about it. Conversely, we don’t know what protective effects might emerge from workplace cultures – from a sense of community and camaraderie with colleagues, and a strong disciplinary culture, which brings a sense of belonging and satisfaction.
The Wellbeing of Architects is an interdisciplinary collaboration between researchers at Monash University’s Department of Architecture (Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture) and Department of Management (Faculty of Business and Economics). It also includes many industry-based research partners including five architectural offices, as well as the New South Wales Architects Registration Board, the Australian Institute of Architects, and Association of Consulting Architects (ACA), as well as the peak body representing architecture schools – the Association of Australasian Schools of Architecture (AASA). Through these partnerships, the project hopes to produce better outcomes for all members of this unusual and strongly identified cohort – across education and practice.