Following the booming of free market policies in the majority of the world and the stronger tide of globalisation and the popular applications of high technologies, the contemporary architectural profession has been increasingly challenged by greater complexity and fierce competition for demanding subjects. The accelerating climate of transdisciplinary practice has become more prevalent so that it is no longer a novelty to integrate a comprehensive knowledge base and expertise into the collaborative process of design. Trans-boundary activities enable each practitioner to be more powerful when connect with a wide-ranging of communities. However, the mainstream of extant research on the contemporary profession spans from 1920s to 2000 with most of them ceased to exist by the late 1990s.
Whereas many scholars have contributed to the theorisation of the architectural profession, specifically focused work on cross-boundary practice including transdisciplinary research is insufficient. The deficiency of research interests in transdisciplinary practice identified a gap for this thesis to fill in. Case study is the primary method for this thesis. Selected firms were defined into three categories depend on the scale of firms, namely SMEs, institutions and mega-firms. Based on the theoretical framework of Bourdieu’s concept of social capital, this thesis deals with macro understanding of ample data sources, and to uncover connections and distinctions between them.
Selected cases have been critically analysed to explicate the ways in which people in transdisciplinary practice come to understand, account for, take actions and manage their situations. Comparative study has been used to sift through discourses and projects, and to discuss the substance of transdisciplinarity. The analytical processes are based on successive unobtrusive methods, following with analytical evaluation to validate conclusions. This thesis argues that the interplay between disciplines has restructured the function of the profession, and transforms knowledge, resources and collective intelligence into innovative creativity in the form of social capital.