For most architects, architecture is not only art, craft, passion and engagement; it is their ‘bread-and-butter’, too, and has been so since long. Architecture, consciously or unconsciously, is also the ‘bread-and-butter’ of communities across the world: successfully or unsuccessfully it is part of the daily lives of ordinary women and men. Yet practitioners, theoreticians and historians of architecture often disregard the more quotidian side of the discipline, a neglect that is inversely proportional to its importance in the production of the built environment. John Summerson’s writings – particularly his wartime ‘Bread & Butter and Architecture’ essay, a call to arms for effective salaried architects – are the motto and the guiding thread for our exploration of the position of everyday practices in twentieth-century architecture. In this introduction we look at the ‘bread-and-butter’ side of the architecture profession and at how it has modulated throughout time, highlighting the ways in which the exceptional set of articles that make up this issue of Footprint substantially extend the scope and reach of our ‘bread-and-butter’ activities.