Architects will tell you there is a great difference between the work they do and the 'mere' work of builders. Besides the fact that this denigrates the skill of those upon whom they rely entirely, more worryingly it disguises a critical assumption that architects make about their own work.
Namely, it is the idea that what separates the 'architecture' trade from the 'building' trade is that architecture is embedded with intellectual content. The former has 'meaning' and this is what elevates it to the level of an 'artform'. One rarely finds the issue put in such plain language, and I believe this speaks to the fact this assumption is so deeply engrained.
I take issue with this assumption primarily on the grounds it is not self evident. And even if the value of this supposition could be derived from better axioms, I believe it is a marginal starting point for a theory of architecture. I say this because I believe there is little evidence for the direct correlation of ideas to successful buildings, unless of course the purpose of the building is to communicate an idea. Is this what architecture is about? Some might say yes — I disagree.
At the same, time, there is a mountain of evidence for the correlation of skilled work and the execution of a successful project. In fact, were one searching for an axiom: the assertion that "good architecture is well-crafted" would serve as a far more stable beginning than what follows de rigueur in schools: viz. that "good architecture successfully executes its concept."