We asked ten architects – each of whom joined Make in a different year since 2004 – to write about how they see architecture and the built environment changing over the next ten years. Here is Make partner Andrew.
Reinvention and re-engagement: that’s what I see for our built environment over the next ten years. It will be a time of celebrating the construction industry’s fluidity, of blurring the boundaries which demarcate the architect’s role, and, above all, of unprecedented levels of public engagement.
As advances in building techniques and technology continue to accelerate, the construction industry may diverge further into highly-specialised niches. Will architects be able to keep pace with these new disciplines? Will architects become overly-specialised? More than ever, we are required to be ‘jacks-of-all-trades’, because that is exactly what those who inhabit our buildings are. It’s only through a deeper understanding of the diverse users we design for that we are able to create efficient, sustainable, long-lasting and beautiful architecture.
If the trajectory of the past ten years continues, the mechanisms by which we learn what people think of their built environment will only intensify. The convergence of virtual and physical networks has already begun, with location-based social media and advanced spatial mapping bringing discourse on architecture into the devices we carry around. While technology vies to augment reality, the power of the built environment never ceases to diminish. There is no substitute for physical spaces which accommodate a diverse range of social interaction. Such occurrences are increasingly catalysed by technological trends and designers must harness these currents to create agile architecture.
As long as we continue to listen to who we are designing for and become more adept at following the forces which shape society, I think the next ten years will see some incredibly bold additions to our built environment.