Habitus shock : a model for architect-client relationships on house projects based on sociological and psychological perspectives
Siva, Jessica P. S. and London, Kerry 2009, Habitus shock : a model for architect-client relationships on house projects based on sociological and psychological perspectives, in CIB W096 2009 : Proceedings of the CIB W096 Architectural Managment, National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan, 2-4 November 2009, National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan, pp. 209-220.
The widening gap between architects and clients and the associated problems in the management of their relationship have long been recognised by practitioners and researchers alike. An emerging trend in recent studies is to develop descriptive models to describe behavioural characteristics of relationships based on observations of ' real world' practice, indicating the significance of understanding the complexities of the social environment in which the architect-client relationship is within. This research built upon the work of past descriptive models by exploring the architect-client relationship on house projects with a focus on the client's voice. It is an interdisciplinary study drawing theory from sociology to further understand this built environment industry problem. Sixty-nine percent of architects in Australia spend some of their work time on house projects and therefore improvements in this area can have significant impact on a considerably large portion of the profession. Habitus theory borrowed from sociology explains that the nature of architecture as a specialised activity places architects within an architectural habitus, distinguishing them from clients who are .not trained in the field. An underlying premise of thi s study is that a mismatch between the architect and client's habituses occurs as they enter into a relationship on the house project. This phenomenon is termed habitus shock, referring to the client 's experience of disorientation as they are confronted with an unfamiliar architectural habitus on the project. Culture shock theory is examined for its contribution to explain the process to which the client adjusts to the unfamiliar environment during habitus shock. The habitus shock model proposed in this paper suggests that the client may achieve learning during habitus shock and it is this client learning that can lead to successful relationships.
Field of Research
120201 Building Construction Management and Project Planning
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