What Will the Architecture Be Like


What will the Architecture of the future be like?

These are exciting times, because a lot is changing, which concerns architecture and the architect's opportunities to practice the subject.

It may not be noticeable in everyday life, because there are still good economic times in the industry. But both the expectation of the profession, changed challenges due to climate and environmental changes, and not least the 'competition' from other professional groups, will be felt much more clearly in the years to come. This is something that both the construction industry, the authorities and the educational institutions have a lot of attention to - but then with different angles, understanding of reality and objectives. It is therefore more than ever, crucial that NAL both follows the changes, and sets premises for what competency architects should have, and how architects should use their competency to plan and design in the future.

When the European Association for Architectural Education (EAAE) describes the challenges of architecture as; climate change, globalization, urbanization and social transformation, as well as new technology, they answer correspondingly that the solution lies in research for ; the development of spatial competence, and the improvement of teaching and practice in architecture. It is a description of reality we share, and the solution is interesting enough, quite coincident with how Vitruvius defined the architect over 2000 years ago; The person who is to act as a public builder must be talented and scientifically educated, because neither talent without science nor science without talent can produce a perfect artist.No matter what competency the architects will have in the future, it must be fact- and research-based, but implemented in society with trained talent and integrity.

Vitruvius defined his conception of architecture, as the bearer of the beautiful ( venustas ), the lasting ( firmitas ) and the useful ( utilitas ). Rooted in history, but at the same time interpreted into our time, beauty can be understood as spatial-aesthetic competency and contextual understanding, in order to translate functional, technical, economic parameters into architecture and meaningful surroundings - the lasting can be understood in a sustainability perspective, where buildings must meet high environmental standards throughout their life cycle, and last a long time - and the useful can be understood as that the architecture should give a positive effect for the individual, in society and for nature, and always give more back to its context, than it takes.

When the legislative authorities want to change the architecture's competency requirements and responsibilities in planning and construction matters, it's also pointed out that there is a need for a greater understanding of risk - for society and the environment, and a closer link between cause and effect. It is a challenge that architects must take, develop and make to their strength, because it's in line with the architect's basic competency and understanding of society's complexity, and because it can be linked to UNESCO's goals for what skills are required to achieve the UN's sustainability goals. Here it's precisely critical thinking and self-awareness that is highlighted as essential. In addition, a number of areas of competency are listed that in an excellent way describe what should be trained in the engineering subjects, such as;systems thinking competence, future competence, normative competence, strategic competence, collaborative competence, and general ability to work independently and solve problems; on complex sustainability issues, and to develop viable, inclusive and equitable solution alternatives that promote sustainable development, and that integrate the above-mentioned competencies.

The uniqueness of architectural competency will also in the future therefore be linked to both broad competency and understanding of complexity. This means that the architect must have insight and knowledge of very many subject areas and social mechanisms - also subjects we don't master today, in order to at the same time become more lingering in other areas. More specifically, this means that more subject areas must be included in the education, which provides good ecological understanding - ie understanding of ecological contexts in nature, for the individual and in society, but also subjects that provide system understanding and knowledge of technology. In addition, the future will require architects to be able to document knowledge within several special areas, in order to highlight real competency in competition with other more advanced educations.

For architects and architectural future, it's essential that the architectural schools fail to educate architects with broad, robust and relevant expertise, but in addition, the architects will be better to clarify and raise the awareness of the creative expertise architect education actually provide - an expertise with deep analytical understanding åelse of context and innovative approximation æ approximation to the concept, which is flexible and well suited to solving the future challenges.

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