Who?

For the world, an architect is someone who designs buildings. It is difficult for a Le-man to comprehend that architecture is more than just designing buildings. As students, architects study how to plan. Not just buildings, their study ranges from planning the smallest piece of furniture in a room to planning layouts for an entire city. Everything seen around us today has been planned, thoroughly researched, and executed by an architect. Of course, architects require help from other experts but an architect is the one who creates. Architects are responsible for creating an ambiance based on the purpose of a room, creating an atmosphere based on the location of a town, and lots more. Our habits and lifestyle are indirectly channeled through designs created by an architect. If architects can create something, they can also bring change to the world if necessary. They could change our lifestyle, standard of living, and understanding of spaces if required.

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Complete map of Capital Beijing_©Hongyue Wang

Why?

Change is the only constant. Without incorporating significant changes, the world would come to a standstill. Architecture is invariably commercialized, and this has led to an untimely downfall in the value of architects. There is more emphasis on balance sheets and profits instead of sustainability and resilience. For the masses, architecture today is just a profession that helps generate drawings for a building. The designs have become so monotonous that everyone is habituated to the spaces and hesitant to change their lifestyle. If this process continues, the world will experience stunted growth compared to rapidly changing circumstances. Architects must step up to this challenge. Architects must have the ability to bring the necessary changes to evolve as human beings.

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Haphazard and Unplanned Development in Uttarakhand_© The Hill Post

What?

If architects can set a benchmark for the lifestyle of people, they can also introduce the necessary changes as and when required. Most metropolitan cities have heavily invested in the rapid growth of their people in this fast-paced world. This growth can be seen in terms of infrastructure, connectivity, and much more. However, this growth comes at a heavy price. Many development schemes are planned by neglecting ecologically sensitive areas, buildings are constructed using standard techniques that already harm nature, and flats are planned to provide maximum profits to developers. The needs, necessities, and wishes of the end users and environment are heavily neglected to ensure the growth of cities at the given pace. It is this ideology that needs change. The ideology of not allowing architects to cater to the end user. Architects are well-educated about the adverse effects of the rapid and haphazard development process. They know the solutions too, but are not able to practice freely because of various restrictions.

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A crowded street with people of different lifestyles_© International SOS

How?

Architects are not Gods. They can create only by making systematic use of the available resources. Along with buildings, architects are also taught to plan resource usage and minimize the impacts of construction on the environment. Architects are also well aware of the needs of a user and how their designs can be improvised to provide a better experience to the user. If architects start focusing on these aspects, start educating everyone about how they can contribute to the betterment of society, and how architecture has the capability of creating a better world for everyone, they can certainly change the world we live in.

For instance, if one developer sells a 2BHK flat of 550 sq. ft size and another one sells the same configuration in 750 sq. ft size, an architect can set the standards for a 2BHK flat keeping proportions, user comfort, and feasibility in mind. Similarly, an architect can also introduce sustainable and resilient solutions to the ongoing road and infrastructure development of the city. These small steps can bring a vital change to the lifestyle and perspective of the world.

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Resilience to Adaptation article of Architect magazine_© Michael Kirkham

When?

The time is now. Architects can change the world theoretically, but to practically execute it, they need to put lots of effort in the right direction. The world is on the verge of an environmental breakdown and certain things, places, constructions, and development need to be modified immediately. There is a significant rise in natural calamities, temperature changes, and other hazards that have put the lives of all species in grave danger. Many organizations have worked to point out these flaws, but to change them and create something better out of them, an architect is of utmost importance.

Glaciers are melting rapidly, temperatures and seasons are uncertain, pandemics are leading to global emergencies, and nature is not finding its place on the planet. We can neither afford to repeat the mistakes done in the past nor can we treat the mistakes as a benchmark for the future. These are enough reasons to act now and responsibly. Architects with their knowledge and caliber, hold the strength to initiate much-needed changes.

Smog covering a cityscape_©Freepik

Reference:

  • Article on Climate Change by United Nations: https://www.un.org/en/climatechange/what-is-climate-change
  • Role of Architects in combating climate change: https://architectureprize.com/the-role-of-architects-and-climate-change/
  • Minimum Space standards: https://www.designingbuildings.co.uk/wiki/Minimum_space_standards
  • Architecture without buildings tag in Arch Daily: https://www.archdaily.com/975631/the-methodology-of-the-new-generation-they-are-architects-and-they-are-not-architects?ad_campaign=special-tag
Author

Rethinking The Future (RTF) is a Global Platform for Architecture and Design. RTF through more than 100 countries around the world provides an interactive platform of highest standard acknowledging the projects among creative and influential industry professionals.