My last post on the architect’s staff meeting was so popular I decided to follow up with another provocative question about the practice of architecture. The practice of architecture, and all things that can even be remotely associated with it, are of constant interest to me as I continue to learn and grow as an architectural professional. And that should be the task of all architects and designers, even those who maybe do not “call the shots”, so to speak. If we’re not constantly trying to improve ourselves as architects, as designers and as professionals then eventually we will fall behind and we will fail. This is why I continue to ask questions and challenge time tested ideas for new solutions and new possibilities. Most people find that really annoying about me, but that’s a different story.
So, the question is:
Can architecture be mobile?
More specifically, I’m wondering, can a practice be mobile? Can a successful architectural studio have no studio? Instead of employees stumbling into a shiny new office 5 days a week, could those same employees instead be spread out over, say, the continental US, meeting instead via a digital office, an office “in the cloud” as the catchy commercials whisper?
As the economy continues to slump down the road at a snails pace and more and more architects and designers are either hopelessly unemployed or striking out on their own scraping together all the cast off projects others don’t want, could the firm of the future be simply a collaborative effort of many individuals working together for the cause of architecture rather than the cause of money?
I believe all of these things are possible and more. Imagine small firms and sole practitioners banding together across the country, and even across the world, to pool the best talents to produce the best work for the client and the end users. Is this just a foolish utopian ideal? Am I dreaming with my head too far up my own ass? Can architects and designers finally start setting aside our overstuffed egos and form relationships and practices that are revolutionary in a way that will not just help ourselves, but help everyone? When the architectural community actually BECOMES a community, amazing things will happen in our built environment that will positively affect generations.
The question really becomes:
Why isn’t architecture mobile?