Thinking Ahead: Towards an Expanded Understanding of Design
Guest author Jerónimo van Schendel, architect and Director of the Master’s program in Architectural Management and Design at IE School of Architecture and Design in Madrid shares his views on the future of the built environment and architecture industries in the face of technological innovation and a new age for entrepreneurship.
Over recent decades the built environment and architecture industries have maintained an inward-looking attitude, keeping themselves outside of relevant conversations with other and overlooking opportunities and new territories to conquer. The future of the built environment will require leaders with an expanded and renewed vision of the field: leaders with the sharpness and skills to identify real-world problems coming from a wider range of sources, who are able to transform them into innovative and impactful business opportunities that connect better with society and add more value to it.
The omnipresence of technology, but also factors like demographic pressure, mass urbanization or environmental threats are transforming how we plan, understand and interact with space: how we live. Dealing this conundrum requires evolving faster than our context. Built environment professionals represent a rare and talented group, composed of great system-thinkers, minds that blend creativity with analytical capacity, and exceptional strategists. Leveraging this talent through a much wider perspective does not mean forgetting the role we have performed traditionally, but it does require questioning the status-quo constantly: like a growing tree, the higher and wider we aim for, the deeper our roots must dig down. Keeping in mind the following simple ideas can play a relevant role in guiding us through this exciting work.
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