As mentioned earlier, theconstruction industry, especially in the architectural profession is changing.Today, the architect alone cannot complete a project as buildings are becomingmore complex unless the project was small. Collaboration and teamwork has beenemphasised and one of the biggest complaints from the other professions is thatthe architects do not listen. Architects tend to see themselves as the masterdesigners and the most experienced. This may stem from architectural educationand that the course is very isolated or ‘siloed’ in nature. The fragmentatednature of the educational process stands in the way of effectivelycollaborating.
There are several solutions to this problem. Onesolution would be to get professionals in practice from various background tobe involved in the current educational process, especially during the finalyear of a student’s education. This would not only help students prepare forthe type of work they would want to do in the future, but also, they aretraining potential future employees to set them up in office. This wouldminimise resources that a practice would have to spend time and money on a newemployee who has never worked in this type of practice before.Although the suggestions suggest that professionalsfrom architects should intervene and become involved with the educationalprocess, there should also be options for students to study in areas which willhelp them enter into other professions related to the construction industry.Students should be able to choose topics which they are interested in such asengineering or project management. As we may not call ourselves architects inthe future, architects must adapt to the other industries to create more valuefor themselves. But it also gives students the opportunity to delve into othercareers.
A lot people do not know what an architect does and students goinginto university to train to be an architect realise that it isn’t what theywere expecting. Cross disciplinary integration would also benefitthe construction industry, and the architects as students or new employeeswould gain insight to what other professions in the construction industry isthinking. Ourchallenge must be to go beyond architecture and speak the languages of theseother disciplines, before translating our discussions into formal designproposalsPractices should be able to adapt to the changingeconomy and to new trends which are emerging. For smaller practices this ismuch more difficult than the larger practices who have the resources to hirenew younger talents who have knowledge in the latest trends of the world.
There has been several predictions that inn 10 years’time, we will no longer call ourselves architects and that architecture willbecome even less irrelevant in the construction industry. Whilst I do believethat the role of the architect has become less and less important in theindustry, I also believe that architects won’t become irrelevant, or rather, assoon as people have mentioned. The architectural profession will adapt itselfthrough education as it has done so in the past to reflect the economy.