When social, economic, political and technological conditions change to the extent that they have recently, the architectural project needs to be re-assesed, and re-imagined. It’s timely to take a moment to reflect on the practice of architecture in the cultural context, taking special care to understand how it operates simultaneously as an artifact of, and contributing factor in, the creation of that culture.
The post industrial has given way to the information, and now, the dis-information age. We have experienced sudden and ongoing disruptions; tech, climate, public health and confidence that have led us to directly consider the nature of space, public and private, essential or expendable, secure or vulnerable. The promise of global platforms, the presumed democratizing influence of seeing and understanding the “other” has given way to a darker potential that foments and divides.
Patterns of settlement, our shared, daily, physical experience of built and unbuilt environments, provides a common context on a world we all share with an environment we all depend on.
It is in this context that we seek to reposition architecture and assert its essential role. It is the material expression of culture. It can provide an intellectual and spatial framework through which to try to comprehend, to frame, and begin to address the complicated socio-geo-political- reality, a reality that we all share and existential problem, of our time .