8.17.2007

The Future of Architecture?


I just watched the Gregg Pasquarelli (from SHoP Architects) lecture from the Harvard podcasts link below during my lunch break. I highly recommend that everyone check it out. He of course talks about some of their terrific projects, but more interesting to me was his discussion of the future of the profession. He discusses the typical relationship of architect + contractor + developer and the harm that it has done to the profession in marginalizing the architect. He posits a new way for the profession which returns the architect to a position of power. They have now started having ownership or equity positions in about 6-7 of their projects which has allowed them more design freedom. Finally he discusses near the end of the lecture about how they have received an investment of $200 million from Wall Street to pursue their new pattern for the profession. He also throws in a bit of AIA bashing for good measure.

Check it out and post some comments below. How is BIM going to effect the future of the profession? Also, obviously we can't all get $200M investments, but how can we gain equity in our projects? Are their other ways to return the architect to a power position in the building industry?

1 comment:

Phillip Crosby said...

The discussion about the $200M investment from Wall Street is at the 17th minute of Part 2 of the lecture. Effectively, they've been able to cut out the client by raising an investment fund that gives them the equity to go out and build new projects with new technologies and new kinds of design.

"We'll make a little bit (of money) and we'll be more profitable than a regular architecture firm, but that's not the point. The point is gaining those territories (as a master builder) back."