As like any field, role of architecture /architects on society  has also been  deeply  affected by the commercialisation of the profession.  Even in the olden times, Architecture was all about  spaces, people and feelings related to it.But the way in which society look at  these processes have changed or we might even say evolved,  bringing in both  positive and negative impacts for the true profession.

Earlier it was like, the people themselves alter their life arranging the spaces in the way they want. This is more appropriate as they are the one who knows  the necessities. Art movements start within a region that shares common aspirations. There, the architects originates within the society itself  and are part and parcel of the society agreeable in all comments made because architecture is not limited to anything particular but is a mixture of activities of the people.But nowadays, even the client has a pre notion that the architect is an outsider well-kept who can show certain magic that will lead to their ultimate success.

Even now there are two parts to the evolution. The negative part is that in the name of being innovative, the effect of design on the society is ignored to create a spectacular piece of work that is different from the mainstream style. Long term aims are not kept in implementing most of the commercial projects which will finally become a dark mark on the architects side.

The commercial part of architecture /design now is neglecting the fact that architect is not only a builder or service provider  but also one who frames the livelihood of the client in such a way  that the project  brings maximum satisfaction to the client with limited resources.

So,i would say that , in order to maintain the earlier prosperity of architecture,one should probe deep into all aspects of the society while doing any project,rather than sticking to the infrastucture aspect and expecting only commercial benefit.