Most reader may know about the College of Architects in Spain but few may know about the Council of Colleges of Architects of Spain (CSCAE). The CSCAE is the organization that brings together and represents all the architects of Spain since its founding in 1931.
Well, there is a similar body in Europe called the Architects' Council of Europe; again a body that represents all European architects and this body. This institution has been carrying out yearly survey on the economic trend of architecture and construction and the latest one was released at the end of January 2015.
The survey was carried out on the status of the profession in Europe. The result has shown a slight overall improvement but dissatisfaction persists over a wide area within our sector. Surprise, surprise, the lowest satisfaction rates were observed in Greece, Spain and Portugal, where almost 100% of respondents expressed dissatisfaction.
In thirteen countries the majority of surveyed architects judged the market situation of architecture as "bad" or "very bad".
The 13th edition of this economic trends survey conducted by the Architects Council of Europe (CAE) confirms signs of positive trends compared with previous surveys: the architectural market is slowly recovering and the overall feel of the profession is improving although the situation is still very uneven from one country to another.
The study of economic trends shows some encouraging signs in the profession and the architectural market overall. In the last year, the level of optimism in the profession has continued to increase gradually, reaching its highest level since the survey was created in 2009. For the first time, respondents who judge the situation for architectural practice as "satisfactory "," good "or" very good "are in the majority (51.5%). An almost equal number of respondents, however, still deemed "bad" or "very bad" (48.2%) situation.
The country analysis reveals that in the architectural market assessment of the situation varies greatly from country to country. As in previous surveys, the countries of northern Europe, led by Norway and Finland, are kept safe and more satisfied than the rest of Europe. Difficulties remain in South, Central and Western Europe, where in thirteen countries, the majority of interviewed architects judged the market situation of architecture as "bad" or "very bad". The lowest satisfaction rates were observed in Greece, Spain and Portugal, where almost 100% of respondents expressed dissatisfaction.
Also, the workload forecast for the next three months are encouraging for the first time in the history of the study, a greater number of interviewed architects expect an increase rather than a decrease in workload for the next three months (32 , 5% and 23.7% respectively). A majority does not expect any significant change (43%). Overall, the upward trends are reported in all market segments: public and private housing, commercial projects and other public and private projects.
These positive trends are reflected in the estimates of staffing short-term studies in architecture. While the vast majority have no plans to change the number of employees in the next three months (67.5%), it is interesting to note that respondents expecting an increase in staff now exceed those expecting a decrease (18% and 12.8% respectively).
Therefore the 13th economic trend survey confirmed a gradual recovery of the market and a budding optimism in the architectural profession in Europe, despite the situation of widespread dissatisfaction in some countries among which is Spain.
The survey was conducted between December 2014 and January 2015, and received 3,341 responses. These surveys are conducted regularly by the Architects' Council of Europe to better understand the economic trends in the architectural market.
To be able to understand the feeling among my colleges you have to know that architects are invoicing 10% of what we invoiced in 2006 which has meant that unemployment among professional architects reaches 70% after the most devastating crisis I've lived in my twenty five years of professional life.
I hope that those of us who have survived (so far) will be gratified with more work in the future.