Architecture today, is the material face of Globalisation. However, the relevance of Architects is a thoroughly debated issue. As an architect, it is unsettling to see the industry harbour thoughts which condescend our value.
In an interview with context to the relationship between developers and architects, Architect Sanjay Prakash had said “Private Real Estate has cracked the problem that Architects matter by making them not matter anymore.” The time has come where efforts have to be made towards making our role suited to the grown needs rather than assisting our profession towards obsolesce.
The current practices where architects hide their design process continue to infest our design process. Our true contribution in all scale of projects from small interventions to large projects is locked in the design process. If it continues to be in locked phase, it won’t be evident to public. The intention here is not to share underdeveloped ideas but discuss a vision with people. Unlike the times of Michelangelo, the current time has seen a shift from patron to a capital centric scenario.
It’s time for the profession to begin respecting the true needs of the industry. The architect must, now strike a balance between developing concepts to a degree and sharing them at relevant stages for inputs from specialists in other fields. This would enable us to mature our designs for usability of clients/developers. As we extend our exclusive league of architects to a community of designers and subject specialists, a system would emerge wherein industry would begin to appreciate our contribution. We have to be poised regarding our position. Architects can be best project managers where they involve everyone at stages relevant to them in a manner that evolved design continues to make best use of technology with the essence of a concept.
A team of generalists and specialists coming together for the deliverance of desired project would be of far greater value than the existing system of Architect head and sub-consultants. This team would be an invincible force that industry would be eager to tap for meaningful work. The stages of work where architect has to work as a mere facilitator should be known to the person and it should be done in full consciousness of the fact and in complete transparency.
The slow paced, crafted architectural practices which owe their success to the attribute of a solitary mind can no longer be the archetype of architectural practice. It’s a fresh dawn where architectural output is no more a celebrated building on a sacred site. Architectural industry now serves a far complex system of motives than the creation of an inspiring hospitable space. Today we have to stand to create an effective balance met by coalition of fragmented sources in the industry with due credits. We need to transcend our boundaries.
I’d like to thank Mr. Madhav Raman (our Seminar guide) and my seminar group (Karan, Swati, Digvijay, Sneha and Rattan). Our discussions, presentation and paper have been extremely helpful in guiding my thoughts and have also been directly used at numerous places in this article.