The apparent & unanticipated situation at this time is the impact of world recession, which has drastically affected the context in which the architects were used to practice, exerting Tremendous pressure on professionals to demonstrate the best design skills. While financing of public sector projects through private public partnership continues to great influence on the way buildings constructed and who heads the construction sector. All this reasons add architectural practice to have new & diverse form of methodologies to continue as undisputed boss of construction industry.
I, Earned Architecture as My undergraduate studies from university of Mumbai, studying at Asmita College of Architecture, Thane. During Studies in college I strived hard in all the direction to know and understand as much as I can about Architectural practice in depth. From all this years of studying, it was very much clear that architecture is not all about designing skills but also Constructional aspects which is the most important part of industry. Visited various under construction sites organized by college campus which was very much helpful to understand the different stages involved & other aspects of construction industry. Engineering consultants, Time, cost, people & most importantly the overall construction Management form the consultancy team who are responsible towards client for any construction development.
To gain best out of industry experience, I joined Asia’s one of the biggest Architectural Firm Architect Hafeez contractor. It was very much clear to me from day one that we as an architect carries unpleasant reputation for always being conventional and focused on what we as professionals can offer than what our client wants. I was involved in various activities such as regular site visit for slab checking, co-ordination meetings with consultants & clients, preparation of valid for construction drawing & releasing them to sites for construction purpose which provided great edge on numerous things related to architecture & construction skills. Had the opportunity to work directly with Architect Hafeez contractor on numerous projects which was great learning experience for me. With almost 4 years of working experience it is very much clear to me that architects continuously loosing architectural skills & techniques to other industry players, at present the profession is in bizarre jeopardy which is vulnerable to a wistful backward look at an obsolete time where architects were used to be the on the driver seat.
As Building technology is getting complex the most of design works on major parts is getting executed by contractors. It seems that concept of an architect in future will be a professional or technician who constitute all important elements of building or superstructure and same will widely designed by the contractors. The industry on demanding side still feels that architect is the most essential part of industry but in the form of manager or co coordinator to bring all essential parts together. I strongly feel that if present architectural professionals want to be in the race & want top most roles in construction industry, they should definitely learn the management skills. As Architects already lost the grounds to engineers in many ways hence its high time for them to move into new fields of strategic consulting at higher levels.
At present developers/Clients moving towards one stop shop service provider’s & those are subcontractors. This trend is getting popular between clients and steady rise in one stop shop commissions where contractors deliver projects which puts them on driver’s seat whereas architects simply provide design. The Term architect which limits architects in many ways to grow & reach various markets, they should consider expanding their scope of work in areas like Project Management, façade consultants etc. and branding other areas like lighting design, interior designing and community consultation. A business although founded by architect now clearly branded as interdisciplinary practice, doing very less amount of conventional architectural work. Architects are getting down from the top order as there is a gap where architects losing to advantage in the era of interdisciplinary leadership qualities and by enhancing their management skills can put them to a senior post in construction firms or as clients or policy makers. Engineers & contractors are running large multidisciplinary firms and I can see that they will emerge more commonly in future as they are carrying risks on behalf of clients. There is obvious clarity that whoever carry the risk on behalf of client will lead the design industry. As Architects are shying away to take risks they are losing their ability to influence the design results to clients.
The current situation of construction industry is very well suited to Large multidisciplinary firms who provides one stop shop to the clients which is cost effective. I had an aspiration to stop what traditionally architect’s practices & regenerate model of multidisciplinary practice which can be very well suited to fast growing industry requirement in future. There is a fundamental shift in global construction industry as big Multidisciplinary firm are shallowing down the businesses of small firm, this practice is taking away professional from design led practice towards engineers. This marks bygone days where design was the exclusive right of architects.
This shocking effect of numerous projects of one stop shop carried out by multidisciplinary firm’s will push architects further down in timeframe ahead. In hierarchy order, architects are losing their design dominance which reduces their overall relationship they used to share with clients & end-users. As this trend continues a very few big multidisciplinary firm’s prime employs will be architects & will form the backbone to improve design offers to clients. With time building industry getting extremely complicated and risk management associated with it led architects in favor of contractors who will continue to share a large part of detailed designing work in future. Architects losing influence over construction industry as they are transferring their liability to subcontractors or consultant like façade, project managers & other suppliers. There should no doubts that whichever party will take part in risk management will drive the design industry. In design management roles architects are integrating components & elements designed by other consultants. Multidisciplinary consultant’s firms are providing services that clients conventionally did not looks towards architects to provide therefore Architects should remove the label of architect which enable them to provides the skills other than designing to the clients. Discontinuation from tradition architectural services, interdisciplinary consultants had able to managed other sources of income while presenting them to clients/end users, which will have managed to create broader spectrum of new sources for contemporary architects.
To stay on the top position in this era of increasingly complex financial environment their financial and economic skills should be at par with other industry players. However, to be able to grasp greater opportunities, architects will have to develop greater financial, commercial acumen & management skills to be able to integrate with other industry giant and they will have to continues hard work to ensure extraordinary benefits of designing process to society. I think architects will have the greatest chances of best growing prospects if they will concentrate on high end consultancy & management skills. The changed role of architect should not be seen as threat but a natural change & we must find out our new opportunities that can be accommodated by education.
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