Whether there is a place in the future architects and designers?

| 22 September 2021

According to Carl Benedict Frey and Michael Osborne, futurists from Oxford, in the next 10-20 years, almost half of existing professions will be automated. The most vulnerable among them are the service sector and office work. However, even specialties that require fundamental knowledge, experience, ingenuity and creativity, such as architects or designers, in a couple of decades will no longer be the key to successful employment. Marina Kruglova, the founder of the architectural and design bureau EcoBud, explains to Mind how to “fix” the architect in the future, which of the competencies in this area will remain the destiny of man, and what will be mechanized in the first place.

Artificial intelligence will bring profound changes to all professions, especially architecture. These changes are unknown territory for our whole world. And as for architecture, new technologies inevitably mean that consumers and contractors will have more and more opportunities to do without architects.

Of course, many customers prefer individual design. But if previously architects and designers responded to their wishes, then the next generation of software will respond to requests, less and less requiring human participation. Any information about the tastes, habits and characteristics of the customer will be collected in an array of big data. Therefore, if the client gives the designer access to his personal information, artificial intelligence will be able to prepare an individual solution that suits the taste and style of the client.

This process will be so automated that unpretentious people will be able to do without a designer. Demand, especially from elite customers, will remain only for really talented designers and architects who create original projects, combining thoughtful functionality, impeccable aesthetics and following the latest trends in design and architecture.

It would seem, where without architects or designers? However, it is impossible not to take into account such facts.

First, only about 4% of buildings are already being built by architects themselves, the rest is unauthorized construction or work of design bureaus at construction companies. Interior design has always been a part of architectural design, but still architects who create individual design cannot compete with cheaper alternatives. That is why only 2% of house design is created by architects: there are already developed or even ready-made turnkey options.

Secondly, BIM and Revit (software that allows you to work with the architectural part of the project. – Mind) – are just launch pads for a complete transformation of structures. Modern technologies make the construction and design process increasingly automated, and therefore potentially more accessible to the end user.

Of course, quick, cheap and simple solutions thanks to technology can minimize the need for human intervention in all aspects of our lives. However, the value of human touch can rethink the range of products and services offered in many areas, including architecture.

Nothing requires personal attention like building a house, where it is very important to hear the client, to think through every detail. After all, the house should be not just modern, but also multifunctional, fully meet the needs of the customer and even more. Machines are not yet able to feel the customer’s request so deeply as to give all the answers given by the architect.

So it will be even better if artificial intelligence completely takes over the entire technical part: experts will no longer have to spend tens or even hundreds of hours to reproduce something standard, long known. Instead, you can focus on the author’s development of a unique product. That is, on something truly creative and beautiful.