U+A architects on balancing between technology and concept design

U+A architects on balancing between technology and concept design

Architecture, Opinion piece, Technology and design, U+A

Our current economic climate is accelerating development faster than ever before. This rapid growth depends on fast-paced projects and uncompromising design quality – a daunting dilemma for architects, and an ancient and intrinsic economic formula that has been incited by the current culture of instant gratification. There is an insatiable drive for the distillation of creative solutions to achieve this harmony between time and quality, while the architect’s internal struggle for perfection is ever haunting.

Surely if we were using the more traditional means of production for a project, we would require more time to reach a successful design. Fortunately, technology is an ever-evolving range of tools that helps us cope with creating this harmony, despite the varying impact it can have on people of different generations.

Some architects and designers who used to illustrate their ideas and concepts through their hand sketches and colours are now finding themselves forced to step into the world of BIM, or pushed to the wayside.
In general, though, technology unburdens the architect of tedious repetitive tasks, freeing up time and allowing for better focus on more successful and creative strategies.

Another advantage of digital advancements is computational design, which enables us to create multiple design options.

However the process towards the final design varies among professionals. Some are still insisting on their old methods and beliefs, while younger generations are purely technologically-driven. The best place to be is somewhere in the middle of the two, maintaining the heart and soul of the concept during the early stages of design while taking advantage of computational methods as we move into the production stages.

The one danger that comes along with high-tech design processes is losing one’s ability of critical analysis while problem-solving and blindly relying on software. We have personally found it important to distinguish using computation as a tool to better our designers from letting its limitations take over our projects.

Designers and architects must also not forget the importance of thinking algorithmically, and finding a logical process that can be transformed into an ideal design. Such a process is improved with each new experience, a result of exposure and interest in computer-aided design. However, creative thinking should remain, as always, free of technology.

By Ahmad Hammad and Narges Rowshanzamir of U+A

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