Why We Should Pay Royalties to Architects & Designers

4 min readDec 11, 2022

by Greg Balondo

Commercial Architecture is a work of art that continuously generates revenue. Should architects be given a percentage of this profit? Photo by Daniel McCullough on Unsplash

Architects are often seen as the masterminds behind the design and construction of buildings and other structures. They are responsible for creating unique and functional spaces that are aesthetically pleasing, safe, and sustainable.

Artists usually receive royalty payments for their works. While architects typically receive a fee for their services, they may also receive royalty payments, especially for those who have created significant designs that are culturally worthy. This is a relatively new concept in the architecture industry, but it has the potential to provide substantial financial benefits for architects.

This article will explore the concept of architects receiving royalties, how it works, and the potential advantages and disadvantages of this payment method.

What are royalties in architecture?

Royalties in architecture refer to a payment method where architects receive a percentage of the revenue generated by a project they have designed. This payment is typically made after the project has been completed and is based on the performance of the building or structure.

For example, if an architect designs a shopping mall and the mall generates a certain amount of revenue, the architect would receive a percentage of that revenue as royalty. This payment would be ongoing as long as the mall generates revenue.

Royalties in architecture are similar to the concept of royalties in the music and publishing industries, where artists and authors receive a percentage of the sales of their work.

How do architects receive royalties?

Architects can receive royalties for their work in a few different ways. The most common method is through contracts with developers or property owners.

In this scenario, the architect and the developer or property owner would agree on a royalty percentage that the architect would receive for their work. This percentage would typically be based on the projected revenue of the project. It would be paid out regularly (such as quarterly or annually) as long as the project generates revenue.

Another way that architects can receive royalties is through licensing agreements. In this case, the architect would grant the developer or property owner the right to use their design for a specific project. In exchange, the architect would receive a royalty payment based on the project’s performance.

Architects can also sell their conceptual works as NFTs and sell them in a design marketplace such as Arkayv.com. Since these are digital assets, clients can easily resell them to the market, and architects will earn royalty every time this happens.

Benefits of architects receiving royalties

There are several potential benefits to architects receiving royalties for their work. Some of the key advantages include the following:

  1. Long-term financial stability: One of the most significant advantages of receiving royalties is that it provides architects with a long-term source of income. Unlike a one-time fee, paid out after a project, royalties provide ongoing income as long as the project generates revenue. This can provide financial stability for architects, especially those who are self-employed or have irregular income streams.
  2. Increased motivation: Another potential benefit of receiving royalties is that it can increase architects’ motivation to create high-quality designs. Because their income is tied to the project’s performance, architects may be more likely to put in extra effort to ensure their design is successful. This can lead to better outcomes for the project and the architect.
  3. More control over the design process: By receiving royalties, architects may have more control over the design process. They may be more inclined to take a hands-on approach to the design and construction process because they want their vision realized. This can lead to better communication and collaboration between the architect and stakeholders, such as the developer or property owner.
  4. Increased recognition for their work: Receiving royalties can increase architects’ recognition. Because their income is tied to the project’s success, architects may receive more attention and recognition for their contributions. Architects will come up with profound marketing and public relations strategies to make the project financially successful. Award-giving bodies and organizations will definitely acknowledge their efforts. This can be especially beneficial for architects just starting their careers or those working on smaller, less visible projects.
  5. Higher potential earnings: Another benefit of receiving royalties is that it can allow architects to earn more. They can earn a higher percentage of its revenue if the project performs well, especially for those who work on large, successful projects.

It is rare for architects to receive royalties for their designs that become popular or culturally significant. However, whether or not royalties should be paid is ultimately up to the individual architect and their client to decide. If this is going to be a tradition of the profession moving forward, technologies should be invented to make this seamless. Regulations should also be laid out to make this fair and transparent. It is crucial to note that architecture is a business, and like any other businesses, architects must be compensated for their work to make a living.

Through royalty payments, architects will continue to earn from their popular and culturally significant works. Photo by Tobias Keller on Unsplash




Arkayv is the one-stop shop for building your dream home. Choose the design from our catalog, and we build it for you.