ARCHITECTURE vs INNOVATION

30-10-18

The world is changing very quickly. The technological revolution is transforming social behavior at an unprecedented rate. It is the so-called “digital culture”. According to Nicholas Negroponte, that “digital culture has as its common denominator that the world is integrated: We used to have a very defined world that had limits, lines. One went to work, then home, then played and studied, was part of a group or not … now everything is more integrated “.

We have access to unlimited fields of information that allow us to feel that we are connected to any individual, anywhere in the world, in real time. Access to information in professional fields is democratizing in such a way that the user/client feels empowered when demanding a quality service. From “consumer”, has become “prosumer”: demands experiences, principles and values, as well as products. In this change of paradigm, professions in danger of extinction, new professional models arisen spontaneously and other professions yet to appear are predicted. According to experts, 65% of the professions of the future do not exist yet, most of them within the scope of information technology.

Innovation is the backbone of this transformation, acquiring a speed of such an impact that requires to be up to date in real time, if you do not want to “stay behind professionally”. Unfortunately, the university degree no longer guarantees, as in the past, a stable professional path, but also requires a new profile of professional skills and abilities. In this sense, a lot of innovation methodologies and technological advances emerge and have come to stay.

Is architecture aware of this change?

Methodologies such as Design Thinking, creative process that every architect or designer has followed since time immemorial, together with elements of technological innovation such as artificial intelligence, 3D printing, virtual reality, The internet of things, digital transformation in creative processes, .., have came up so strongly that are displacing architecture from its own areas, creating new scenarios where architects have no presence. In our own professional practice, we are not being agents of change to adapt to this transformation. Why?

Whether we like it or not, this change of paradigm is a reality, and it seems that the architectural practice refuses to welcome. The architectural object can no longer be an end itself. And the longer we take in realizing, the harder it will be to “adapt” to change. It is important that the Architecture Schools embrace innovation and user experience, new subjects be included in the academic curriculum and professional practice experiments with new ways of creating, exploring and testing. We must transform education. To add, never subtract.

As Negroponte said, “the best way to predict the world is to invent it.” If we keep holding the foundations of the past we will not have hands to design those of the future.