25 April 2011

The Future of Architects...

Image Credits: (right) Tyler Brûlé, Dickon Robinson borrowed from Monocle's website. RIBA logo borrowed from here. (left)  Bota Bota project designed by Sid Lee, image borrowed from firm's website.

I am sorry I have been a bit absent these days.  I have been busy with projects around the house (the renovation process seems to be endless), designing an online portfolio (BIG PROJECT) and trying to come up with the right words to use in a cover letter (I haven't written one in years!).
I managed to squeeze in The Monocle Weekly this past weekend for the first time. I found it both refreshing and hysterical.  Tyler Brûlé shares the microphone with diverse professionals every Sunday morning where global affairs are discussed...try it out.  Let me know what you think . . . 
After listening to his take on the upcoming Royal nuptials, I browsed through the archives and the Edition 89 Weekly sparked my curiosity.  On the 7th of March, 2011, Brûlé chatted with Dickon Robinson, the chairman of Building Futures (in association with RIBA), about his recent report, The Future For Architects

The discussion revolved around British architects but the conversation points apply to the architecture profession in general, really.  Here are a few of them, paraphrased...
1. Globalization is bringing about opportunities for architects. The future requires creative solutions, BUT will architects exist in 2025?  The traditional training of an architect is not going to cut it anymore...including the title ARCHITECT...an unhelpful label?.
2. What is an architect? What does an architect do? What is the definition of architectural services?
3. Architects are trained to think spatially and this is what the future needs...BUT, Mr. Robinson discusses the fact that because of the public's misconception of what an architect does/is, [we] might be overlooked for solutions that [we] are actually qualified/trained to solve. (Misconceptions include: Architects cost money + only Starchitects get the cool jobs + contractors are doing an architects job anyway.) 
4. Solution?  Design Firms and individuals need to market themselves differently and creatively.  
5. The training of architects needs to change at the Institutional level as well.  There needs to be a re-structuring of the architectural profession.
Listen to the discussion here (From 22:35-32:00).

Fabulous, right? 
The discussion really brought up points that many of us young "trained architects" have been discussing for quite a while now. But it is even more relevant to me nowadays because I am currently job hunting and in Montréal. (Unknown territory for me).  
One of the firms I am most curious about is Sid Lee, a perfect example of creative re-structuring.  Sid Lee (founded in 1993) and the architecture firm NOMADE (founded in 1999) teamed up to create the contemporary Sid Lee in 2009. The firm is based in Montréal. It houses over 400+ employees with ateliers in Paris, Amsterdam, Toronto and in the recently unveiled studio in Austin, Texas. Their mantra is creativity drives the future. Their manifesto also includes phrases like...The consumer is the medium + allergic to the status quo.  I love it!

Their services: 
Conceiving Brand Experiences: architecture, retail, interior design, exhibition design, urban design and master planning.  
Communicating Brand Experiences: branding, advertising, interactive marketing and experiential marketing.
A few of their professional 'staff' titles...solutions architect, intermediate strategist, connection planner, strategy intern...

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So now my challenge is...how do I write a cover letter for this firm?...daunting but exciting...
ok...sorry for the wordy post.  I will keep you all updated...happy Monday.

1 comment:

danica said...

it sounds interesting. i'm off to listen to it now.

a great blog you have here :)