‘Bulk architecture has a challenging future.’
Architecture is becoming increasingly data-driven. We will never be able to compete with computers where data is concerned. Even the most extreme wishes can be put into a computer model. The architect therefore needs to consider how he can add value to the drawing and processing power of computers. That added value lies in understanding and creating encounters. How does he facilitate the experience? How does his building stimulate communal activity? Individuality, independence, everything that cannot be rationalised... these are the domains of the new architect. The computer can take care of the rest. The architect must embrace AI as a tool; a tool that is becoming faster and more accessible with regard to both drawing and calculations. In ten years’ time, that human interaction will remain as the core. The architect needs to understand what drives his client and then surprise him! I am jealous of what top architects are capable of. They create experiences, give users a sense of added value in their lives, create new models of living, and come up with ingenious ways of interacting with each other and with the city.
‘The new, empathetic architect creates experiences.’
Look at what De Urbanisten - an architectural firm - achieved in Rotterdam. The Waterplein (Water Square) is fantastic! It’s a beautiful square nestled between the buildings. When it rains, the water is captured at the top of the buildings and it flows down to the square. It is not drained away; instead, it forms an experience together with the wind and the sun. Here, the architect has created a microsociety with added value. Even the most intelligent robot could never have come up with that.