Today’s construction industry is overflowing with new ideas about its future. Off-Site Manufacture and Construction (OSCM) is at the heart of the modern construction industry. Much has been written about the state and context of OSCM in different countries regarding its perceived benefits and barriers to implementation. Off-site production (OSP) plays an important role in improving fragmented construction processes. Although most OSP research targets the attitudes and practices of OSP adoption, there is limited understanding of the philosophical issues underpinning OSP-related architecture. The roles of the architects’ personal philosophies are neglected and this hampers their implementation of OSCM (which has had a largely technical focus). This paper explores the traditional thinking patterns of architects in China and predicts possible future roles for them. It then conceptualizes an “architectural work” mode and a “building product” mode of design and construction and identifies the shortcomings of architects in an OSCM environment. The arguments made are based on practitioners’ perceptions and the first author’s practical experiences of leading several real-life projects in recent years. The findings reveal the implications and significance of the transformation from an “architectural work” mode to a “building product” mode. We foresee a study approach that focuses on the order and rules for OSCM, resulting in architects’ existing mindsets being changed to thinking patterns and design methodologies better suited to OSCM.