Global Strategies in Architecture
Architectural practice has no boundaries, and business opportunities can arise anywhere. In developing cities such as Shanghai, New Delhi, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, large-scale urbanization has accompanied rapid economic growth. In some cases, cities are built from scratch. For an architectural practice, getting a foothold in this brave new world and bringing a project to fruition involves a tremendous challenge of rapid adaptation. An architect entering a foreign realm has to devise a new way of business, building a practice rather than just a project.
At the same time, mature cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Tokyo are competing to become 21st-century hubs, trying to reorganize and reinvent themselves to build their character and appeal. The challenge here is to work within existing contexts, including those of history, community, environment and government. An architect must be able to untangle and re-weave the threads of an urban fabric.
Beyond the dichotomies of old and new, developing and developed, one reality is asserting itself universally: the world is growing flatter, as distances and differences are bridged with increasing ease. As economic and human capital becomes more fluid, it flows wherever there is opportunity. The practice of architecture, too, is increasingly multifocal, geographically diffused and organizationally de-centered. To compete in a global market, people and organizations must be prepared to tackle issues that are global and local. An architectural practice has to be agile, ubiquitous and networked.
For an architect, the word design denotes the act of realizing a clients objective, and at the same time an orchestration of problem solving that takes place with a specific culture and environment. Working amid a multitude of needs of clients and conditions, architectural practices are evolving new business paradigms.
This issue of A+U features architectural practices that are approaching these challenges in diverse ways. We introduce their business practices and strategies, focusing on the professionals involved and the processes through which they accomplish their work.
Essay: Meeting the Clients Expectations: A Call for a BusinessPerspective in Design
Spiro N. Pollalis, Brian Kenet, Richard M. Jennings
Wolfram Putz, Lars Krckeberg, Thomas Willemeit, AlejandraLillo
Grafting in the Ocean
Moore Ruble Yudell Architects & Planners
James Mary OConnor, Neal Matsuno
Building a Bridge Firm
Steven Holl Architects
Li Hu, Hideki Hirahara, Matthias Michael Schuler
On the Ground with Architect and Engineer
Chen Yin/Beijing Modern Investment Group
Red on Green
Andrew Bromberg
Leading the Design
Reinier de Graaf
A Word on Profession
Peter Morrison
Global Shift in Design, Business and Profession
Tony Kettle
Gazprom Headquarters in St. Petersburg
Shanghai Xian Dai Architectural Design (Group)
Cao Jiaming
Strategy for Growth
Joe Brown
Consulting with Landscape
Architecture For Humanity, Open Architecture Network
Cameron Sinclair, Dan Shine
Global Network for Humanitarian Design
Essay: SANAAs Foreign Mission
Florian Idenburg