I was once asked, what is your opinion about the future of architecture and architects. I always believed that any field with creativity measured has a bright future especially with all available technologies and the integration of profession. Architecture is changing rapidly and, in this article, I will discuss others’ opinions about the matter.
The role of architects is changing, as well as the advanced technologies. Architecture is one of the ancient professions that is developing slowly, and the profound fundamentals stayed the same. To be honest, this can be a little worrying and architects should take immediate action. The best way to adapt to that evolution is pushing ourselves and the boundaries of the profession.
In the UK, there is a quick demise of the mid-sized practice and shortfall of jobs, the research of RIBA claims that the architect’s profession could look very different in the near future. The Royal Institute of British Architects mentioned how the demands of a global economy have transformed business practice and the evolution of projects.
Traditional ways are no longer valid, spatial concepts as well. Compost materials are being used, crowdfunding and collaborative design have become the appropriate approaches in architecture. The line is thinning between private and public spaces, there is a focus on green infrastructure and energy efficiency. This is how technology is accelerating the architecture role at an incredible pace.
The long process
One of the issues that I want to highlight is the process from the concept to reality in architecture takes a long time. We can list the core tenets of the process to Interpreting the client, developing a solution, submitting for approval from the local building agency, conveying the design solution to the contractor via construction documents, and verifying the construction is true to the documents provided. The main core of the architect’s business would still be solution-based and focusing on problem-saving in the future. The process will focus less on the drawing process of the construction documents, and more likely on innovation solutions.
Architects practice now and then
The other issue is the barrier that architects made with other professions such as planning and urban design. It is highlighted that practitioner architects need to expand their definition of what the title means. Many non-architects have made their own brand and created their own brand to their main practice to avoid the use of the ‘architect’ term. This helped to enter a diverse market such as lighting, product design, and community consultation which many formal architects can not involve in these areas because of the use of their title. The impact made by non-architects’ practices is significant, especially on the built environment. Also, clients are more sophisticated nowadays and they need more conventional methods, luckily technology is advancing allowing a higher level of information to be easily conveyed.
The impact of a globalizing economy, the exploding information capability, and the cultural confusion are among the things architects need to respond to. Not by far, architects used to be undisputed bosses, but it is more vulnerable now more than ever. Many graduates seem to see this as an opportunity to fulfill the professional institutions to create the conditions which will optimize their chances.
What about the advancement in technology?
Technology plays an important role in shaping architecture, especially with the market’s significant speed increase. There are some companies that started to deliver logistical material via Maps for quicker and more efficient construction methods. We are looking to online firms like DIRTT and Katerra that ignored the traditional ways in design to create drawings by the implementation of advanced technology, they managed to create whole new methods in architecture and logistical standpoints.
Some research suggests that in the near future, there will be no need for individuals checking of construction documents. Digital outputs like BIM (building information technology) will assist in many aspects like regenerative design, renewability, cost, and app-based maintenance programs. The whole process will be shorter and human error will be reduced.
What is the future of architecture as a profession?
As architects, we need to focus on the end-user experience to adapt to the rapid advancement of the market, programmed space, and construction efficiency. We need to adapt while maintaining beautiful designs, there will be more emphasis on how a building operates and supports the end-users, and their overall experience. We need to understand that ego has been always driven by the achievement of architecture history. Nowadays, we are shifting toward performance and building functionality for client’s needs, we need to adapt that. There is a need to find the balance between form and function, time will only tell how the new adaptation will be.
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