Archinect Sees 2009

Archinect has posted its 20 Predictions for '09.

They're all worth reading, but here are a few highlights:
Bryan Boyer hopes there will be more time for drawing: "Less building and more drawing," he writes; "more time for drawing." Architects must pursue their ideas across a more diverse array of media:
    It doesn't matter how this new media is produced – with a video camera, computer, pencil, or a giant ball of fire – they will eschew the recent trend towards glowy photorealism in favor of idiosyncratic authorship... If we can find new ways to manifest architectural ideas that are both accessible to the public and meaningful to a discussion amongst experts this economic slump will have been a fantastic investment in the future of architecture.
In case you missed it, earlier this year Boyer brilliantly redesigned the U.S. Capitol, including a new look for federal currency.

[Image: A new $50 bill, by Bryan Boyer].

Javier Arbona points out that, as whole cities and states go bankrupt, falling short with both tax dollars and government funding, "there is a raging battle between cities and their home states over funds for everything from schools to redevelopment as states try to plug budget gaps. This will lead to a reorganization of power between cities and states." He suggests that cities might even "dissolve" themselves into larger regional entities – simultaneously expanding to include more residents, more land, and more resources. "Lest we forget," he adds, "New York annexed the five boroughs only a few years after the panic of 1893, a utopian proposition like no other."
[Image: The "house of the future" by Norman Bel Geddes].

Meanwhile, Marcus Trimble predicts – quite accurately, I would think – that "websites collating and publishing the press releases of designers and architects will continue to thrive." I might even say that certain design blogs will simply fire their editorial staff altogether and publish RSS feeds direct from the offices of designers, architects, and Middle East tourism boards, collecting ad revenue along the way.
Why think at all when you can just re-post images of towers built by virtual slave labor in Dubai? Perhaps you could publish an official RSS feed for the UAE government on your design blog and be done with it.
Jeffrey Inaba – whom BLDGBLOG interviewed a few years ago – predicts "a domino effect of operational failures that will to lead systematic breakdowns of infrastructure and services in [the] urban center."
Unperturbed, he points us to Barack Obama's Urban Prosperity plan. Inaba writes (emphases added):
    Though it is packaged as a recovery plan it is really a new cities plan. In its most immediate sense it seeks to improve the depressed economy through urban development: to prop up markets by creating jobs to build infrastructure, transportation systems, public facilities like libraries and schools and to implement clean building technologies. But the plan is more ambitious and far reaching. It does more than try to improve cities as a means to an end, it aims to transform what cities are. Instead of calling for maintenance repairs and incremental upgrading, it looks to make a new kind of living environment where cities operate efficiently at a regional (rather than municipal) scale with advanced forms of collective transportation and sustainable infrastructure systems. The declaration of such a plan in itself expands the horizon of possibilities for what we as architects can design, and more importantly, it offers a historically unique opportunity for a developed nation to have a second chance to make a smart form of city. Hopefully, it won’t come down to an additional series catastrophic of events to realize such a plan. But it probably will.
Meanwhile, don't miss predictions by, in no particular order, Dan Hill, Quilian Riano, Michiel van Raaij, Emily Kemper and her superpowered TCHeroes, Fred Scharmen, Nick Sowers, Orhan Ayyüce, Donna Sink, Markus Miessen, Nam Henderson, Mimi Zeiger, Evan Geisler, Benjamin Ball, and Barry Lehrman.

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Anonymous jean c. said...

one of my former professors used to tell a story about architects who finished school in the middle of a recession (in japan, maybe?): there were no jobs, so they drew, wrote, dreamed up solutions, built crazy models in their apartments... then when the economy picked back up, and people had money to build again, a whole generation of amazing ideas that had had years of incubation time were ready to be constructed.

... he contrasted that scenario to students who graduated in the boom times, jumped right into jobs that demanded useful buildings right away, and churned out look-alike office towers and other banal, typical, not-even-well-thought-out buildings...

well, it's a parable, maybe. but as long as we can eat and pay the rent (and not get brought down by illness), I'm excited to see the drawings and the ideas that come out of the next couple of years...

January 02, 2009 12:17 AM  
Blogger enrique said...

Thanks for the kind words, the support, and thank you for maintaining such a great site. Here's to 2009!!!!!

January 02, 2009 7:32 PM  

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