« Will Architects Exist in 2025? Launch of RIBA the Future for Architects Report
The demise of the mid-sized practice, a dearth of work in the UK, and no more ‘architects’; the architects’ profession could look radically different in 2025, according to a new study by the Royal Institute of British Architects‘ (RIBA) think tank Building Futures.
Setting out a radical vision for the future, The Future for Architects? examines how the demands of a global economy and economic recession have transformed business practice, and projects the evolution of these trends into 2025 by questioning:
– Who will design our built environment in 2025?
– What role might those trained in architecture have in 2025?
– How might practice change by 2025?
The study looks at how architects practice now, and predicts how this could change in the future.
One of the top issues highlighted in the study was how the label ‘architect’ is perceived to hold practices back in terms of the type of work they are able to do. Some practices have already created offshoot companies with a separate identity and different branding to their main practice avoiding use of the title ‘architect’, in order to reach more diverse markets and branch into areas such as lighting design, product design, industrial design, interior design, installation design, branding and community consultation. Many practitioners are not ‘architects’ in the formal sense recognised by the RIBA and the ARB, yet still have a significant role in affecting the built environment; this prompts the question whether the RIBA might need to consider evolving the 20th century definition of what it means to be an architect in order to fit better with the broader 21st century reality of the profession, or whether the title should be used at all. Students and graduates echoed these concerns, and saw the label ‘architect’ as restrictive and as creating a barrier between themselves and other professions such as planning and urban design. »