Friday, 24 September 2010

The Skyroom Design Week 2010 - Talking, but not to everyone.

Design Week 2010

I joined a small crowd of architects and designers last night, gathered in David Kohn’s Skyroom on Tooley Street to hear Indy Johar talk about ‘Manifesting Change 21C’. Indy was relaxed, engaging and characteristically passionate about the topics of sustainable futures and strategic design. It was fascinating to hear him discuss his view of cultural shifts; economically, technologically, environmentally and as a result corporately and how they in turn have an effect on the way Architects are working. He paints a picture of a future where briefs are more open, clients more enlightened and architects consult anthropologists and use digital context analysis models (I had to google that).

Huddled amongst creative minds in the Skyroom which floats between the semi erect Shard and the blocks of More London it was easy to be sold on Indy’s vision and the buzz in the Skyroom began to take on an almost celestial quality until that is, David Kohn himself asked a question.  Your relationship with clients is adapting and moving forward but ‘what is your relationship with the construction industry?’ Indy was flummoxed, it hadn’t crossed his mind to talk to anyone ‘downstream’. At one stage in the evening someone referred to clients as ‘creatively dead from the neck up’ are those of us in the construction industry tarred with a similar brush? Or are we, as Indy’s lack of consideration suggests much worse from a creative perspective?

Is the purpose of the industry solely executional or are we capable of joining the conversation? If so, how can we prove that we are more progressive than architects perceive us to be?  It was great to watch successful architectural minds engage in a lively debate but if the way we live and work is changing and as a result so too are our living and working spaces, when do you talk to the people in hard hats?

Venue: Rooftop of The Architecture Foundation
Client: Roger Zogolovitch, Lake Estates
Architect: David Kohn Architects
Talk: Manifesting Change 21C: Indy Johar, 00:/

Indy Johar 00:/
Architectural Foundation