I recently attended a webinar on 'Outcome based design: Better project outcomes through efficient design' which highlighted how better project and business outcomes can be achieved through digital maturity. It focused on how building designers can use digital technology, automation, structured data and a ‘golden thread’ of information to create efficiencies in their workflows and improve the quality of the information they produce.
It made me question how the continued advancements in technological solutions and workflows which address the emerging trends and future challenges facing the AECO industry, will impact the role of the architect in the future?
I then came across the introduction to a new book describing 'The 20 Soft Skills Essential For Work Success', which include personal qualities such as adaptability, objectivity and communication. This reaffirmed my belief that architects will not become obsolete in a world of automation and artificial intelligence. Although technology can increase the efficiency and accuracy of humans, buildings are procured and occupied by people and the role of the Architect will remain to deliver design responses to client briefs, which provide innovation and excellent architecture with environments that enhance the experience of the users, together with solutions that provide environmental, social and economic value.
The tools provided by technology should allow architects more time to focus on creativity and emotional intelligence to deliver buildings that exceed expectations, for their speed of delivery and cost certainty, but most importantly the delight they provide, through a quality of space which endures.
The increased role of technology places a premium on those purely human traits – like playfulness, innovation and empathy – that can’t (as yet) be automated