What Will the Architect Be Doing Next

09Sep14

How is the profession of the architect evolving as the focus of society shifts from sustainability to resilience or reactivist-driven design demands?

Alexander Mooi. Asignifying Semiotics: Or How to Paint Pink on Pink, Spring 2014, pp. 119-128

The perceived paradigms of architecture

In order to offer a point of departure for answering these questions, it is firstly necessary to search the current architectural discourse for what seem to be current and upcoming paradigms of architec- tural practice: to set the playing field as it were. Yet it is very hard to state what the current paradigm might be. Even distilling previous paradigms could prove quite difficult. How, then, can we focus on an apparent shift or evolution?

If we read the introductions to the architectural publications of this last decade cited here, time and again one aspect is made clear: something has changed or is changing in the field of architecture, whether it be comments by Oosterman in his edito- rial for Volume’s Unsolicited Architecture,7 Hill in his foreword for Future Practice, or Van ’t Klooster in her introduction to Reactivate!,8 they all describe the apparent change from the traditional role of architect – whatever that may have been – towards a new reality or paradigm. Hill and Van ’t Klooster in particular seem to identify a movement away from sustainability, the defining element in architec- tural practice of the last decade, towards a more reactivist stance. Meanwhile, articles by Zolli9 and Weessies10 in the popular (architectural) media seem to point towards the emergence of resilience architecture as the upcoming movement shaping the new paradigm. Others like Schneider and Till11 state that agency in architecture is the defining element changing the practice as we speak.

 

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