Emerge by AIAU: Economics in Architecture

Economics in Architecture illustrates how economic concepts relate to firm practice in the architecture industry.


The Economics in Architecture series introduces real-world economics that pertain to the architecture and construction industries. The videos explore business cycles and trends, the Architecture Billings Index, and the architectural workforce. Follow along as the American Institute of Architects’ chief economist, Kermit Baker, illustrates how economic concepts relate to firm practice in the architecture industry.

Complete activities along the way and take a short quiz to receive credit for this course. 

Learning objectives

  • Analyze what factors in the business cycle influence changes to the construction industry, and what those changes mean for architecture firms. Review approaches to evaluating the existing building stock and available land resources to determine a project’s viability and necessity.
  • Describe ways in which interpretation of demographic trends can help architecture firms be better prepared to deliver projects that are responsive to the needs of the local and regional populations.
  • Examine the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) to make determinations about future billings, future project acquisitions (design contracts), and staffing changes. A strong evaluation of the ABI will help participants prepare for changes in the construction industry, as a result of economic cycles.
  • Evaluate ways in which the architectural workforce influences practice and project management within architecture firms. Examine current trends in the architectural workforce and estimate the impact of a deficient workforce on the profession’s ability to keep up with the need to create quality built environments.

This course is part of a series

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 $45  non-member
 $30  member
1.00 LU
  • HSW
  • RIBA


  • Kermit Baker

    Ph.D., Hon. AIA

    Chief Economist | The American Institute of Architects

    Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA is a Senior Research Fellow at Harvard University's Joint Center for...