The Expanding Influence of Architects


by James P. Cramer @dinet

Hybrid design professions are changing and moving traditional boundaries

No doubt, for some architects and designers, success is fleeting. However, there is plenty of convincing evidence that architects are not only delivering impactful value but also they are being recognized and monetized for their leadership in the marketplace.

In this issue of DesignIntelligence, our trends and strategies issue, we discuss our annual survey of leading firms and organizations who are changing in order to create new value. The research shows many new advantages unfolding for professional practices; advantages that can be measured. These new value propositions are being led by professionals who are bringing into the marketplace refreshing analytics and invention. Our survey shows how hybrid design professions are changing and moving traditional boundaries. Step by step, these innovators are not only discovering but also creating the future.

You might recall the Taoist definition of leadership: “Find a parade and walk in front.” Sage and timeless advice. It turns out that there are many parades to lead. In these zones of service, nearly eighty percent of professional practices have backlogs that are ahead of last year. New markets also have a new business language and this is causing change in traditional markets as well. New niches looking not just forward but sideways.

Alert firms are spearheading a new design profession, one that uncovers pathways to sustain their vitality and then stretch them further into new zones of relevance. For many in our survey of leading firms, influence is expanding, sometimes more than they realized possible. And they are having fun.


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