In the past few years the image of tender procedures in which Dutch public clients selected an architect has been dominated by distressing newspaper headlines. Architects fear that the current tender culture will harm the quality of our built environment due to a potential lack of diversity, creativity and innovation in architectural design. Due to potential risks clients often allow legal requirements to overrule their actual wishes. This PhD research addresses the origin of the problems as currently experienced by public commissioning clients in architect selection and proposes pragmatic implications for future practice. It is therefore of interest for commissioning clients, management consultants, policy makers and legal advisors but also for designers and researchers in the field of architecture and decision making.