The AIA, American Institute of Architects, is a professional organization that has pledged to "promote the scientific and practical perfection of its members" and "elevate the standing of the profession" already 150 years ago.
Because they “realize that the practice of architecture is a global industry”, and that their members seek information that is more vital and changing than ever before about foreign markets, trade, procurement and practice issues, as well as the cross-cultural aspects of working abroad” they have set up an International website to feature this information.
I’ve recently come across an article featured there (The Export of Professional Design Services by Foreign Architecture Firms - A View of Initiatives Overseas by Thomas Vonier, FAIA) that impressed me because of the translatability of the key factors mentioned as the ones entrepreneurs and investors tend to evaluate for launching new foreign businesses. Not surprisingly it was the result of a study undertaken by the U.S. Department of Commerce, probably in collaboration with the International Trade Administration.
I thought to summarize them here below, sending readers to the complete article for a more specific reading. Key factors entrepreneurs and investors tend to evaluate for launching new foreign business activities:
- Availability of talented people
- Favorable business climate
- Stable infrastructure
- Proximity to natural markets
- Protection of intellectual property
- Good government
- Valuation of good design and high quality
- Quality of life
Among the factors that appear to be behind the move of business activities out of the United States are:
- Lower cost alternatives
- Foreign talent and drive
- Better markets and better access
- Expanding, modernized infrastructure
- Favorable business conditions
- Proximity to productive capacity
A good question is: how many of these factors are fulfilled by Italy and the Italian market?
For the architectural field some answers could be found at the upcoming Build Expo, the new exhibition dedicated to the world of Architecture and Building running in Milan, February 6th-10th.