Practiceopolis: Stories from the Architectural Profession




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With the increasing specialisation in the process of contemporary building production, the value and the role of architects have come into question in construction discourse. From literature about architects losing leadership position in the industry to others arguing that architects must follow the more specialised members of the building team, this book is illustrating the architects’ point of view in this debate, showing one important dimension of the story of building construction. The book is a story about the contemporary architectural profession, in which it acts as the protagonist in the form of an imaginary city called Practiceopolis. Practiceopolis is a fictive city-state, located within a union of states representing different members in the construction domain that together form ‘Constructopolis—the Confederation of the Building Industry’. The novel narrates quasi-realistic stories that exaggerate the architectural ‘everyday’ and the tacit, in order to make it prominent and tangible. They depict and dramatise the value conflicts between the different cultures of practising architecture and between the architectural profession and other members of the building industry as political conflicts occurring around the future of Practiceopolis. The book uses this metaphorical world to examine different ideologies at work among architects and other members of the construction industry and provoke questions about the largely tacit assumptions which inform them. The novel ends in the tradition of dystopian worlds common in a certain strand of graphic novels with near-future speculation that extrapolates present contemporary conditions to warn against a substantial change to the architectural profession.



graphic novel, architectural practice, architectural profession, Design Fiction, value of architects, role of architects, technical-rationality, research by design, practice-based research, practice-led research, comic and architecture, architecture storytelling


Megahed, Y. (2020) Practiceopolis: Stories from the Architectural Profession. London: Routledge.


Research Institute

Institute of Architecture