Future Role for Architects

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      Paulines Pens

      I attended the lunchtime interview/discussion with Kenneth Frampton on Thursday 20th Oct in the RIA when he was being interviewed/in discussion with JT.
      I think JT structured it well and for the most of the time I think KF was at ease and was open to discussion on a number of topics. He spoke of the percentage of the built environment that is being designed by architects in the US (10%) and also his dislike for the “commdification” of architecture and certain “star” architects.

      Having read quite a bit of what KF has written in his lifetime I was very interested to hear him speak about what conclusions he has come to about the future role (if any) of architects. There is a tendency (whether it be at a public lecture or in a public house) for this type of architectural discussion to become quite maudlin and non constructive.
      I realise this is a very general topic and maybe too abstract for this forum but it would be ultimately beneficial. In order for a discussion like this to be in anyway successful there would have to be a strict rigor to the posts in order for the discussion not to go down that predictable maudlin route of lazy intellectualism.

      All participants would have to first agree that the following need not be repeated in posts:
      a. Unconstructive cynicism.
      b. Clever quotes without any strong point behind them.
      c. Names of fellow professionals.

      I put it to the forum that the percentage of the built environment designed by architects universally will continue to decrease. Accepting this as a fact and also the fact that the extent of built environment is on the increase, I feel that the role of the architect, as we currently recognise it, will inevitably become outmoded. As with all change, this inevitability needs to be accepted initially before the profession can adapt properly. Currently our education is very much geared towards specialisation in the design of buildings. Will this type of education change?
      What will the architect’s role be in the design of the future built environment, if any?

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