Brave New World? Architecture, Automation, and the Age of Modernity

 

Have you ever thought that the traditional architect’s office might all but disappear?

If the population continues to increase at the same rate, one would have thought that there would be more demand than there currently is for architects. However, in the future, there is likely be significantly less requirement for architects as processes that architects currently perform will become automated.

We are currently seeing the emergence of Public Private Partnership (PPP) contracts that blur traditional lines of client/contractor relationships and that architectural drawings can link directly to 3D printers to produce a built end product.  See “How Dutch team is 3D-printing a full-sized house” and “First Entirely 3D Printed Estate is Coming to NY, Including a 3D Printed 2400 Sqft House, Pool & More”.

Computer programs are requiring architects to design and produce information in 3D, however we are seeing construction firms replicating architects’ 3D BIM models because they are unconvinced of the accuracy of the work. It is therefore not inconceivable that the roles of architecture, manufacturing and construction will merge, all but eliminating the separate profession of the architect in major building works to the world of artisans and sculptors catering for the nostalgic client.

You don’t see this happening? Take a look at this video: ‘Humans Need Not Apply’. Technology, the development of intelligent robots and the merging of companies is happening at a frightening rate.

Who knows where it will take us in the next 20 yrs? One thing is for sure, change is coming and we will have to be brave enough to accept it, whether we like it or not.

Post by Martin Gillatt RIBA, Director of SBA Vancouver

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