When you're immersed in the everyday doings of a typical architecture practice, it can be hard to step back and take a big-picture view. Tony Vanky, Assoc. AIA, and Andrew Caruso, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP, have just made this process easier. On January 15 they started an online forum, Vision2020, that poses these basic questions about the future of the profession:
1) What will be the most significant challenge facing architecture and society in 2020? What is the relevance of architecture in this future?
2) How will a future "architect" think/operate in 2020, and what skills will be required?
3) Why are students uniquely positioned to address these issues?
The project grew out of an informal survey Vanky and Caruso conducted from 2007 to 2008 as leaders of the American Institute of Architecture Students. "We collected perspectives from our membership and then from some architects," recalls Vanky, who serves as the Web site's curator. "We realized the information was so valuable, we couldn't keep it to ourselves."
Responses are listed on the home page in reverse chronological order—"the most democratic way possible," Vanky says. "Anyone can participate online, as long as it's a coherent response." The roster of responders already includes a diverse range of practicing architects, students, and educators, among them Aaron Betsky, director of the Cincinnati Art Museum; Hani Rashid, a principal of New York City-based Asymptote Architecture; and Stephen Kieran, FAIA, a partner of KieranTimberlake Associates in Philadelphia. Vanky says he hopes to increase the number of comments from members of the general public, once the site becomes more widely known.
To see what your colleagues around the globe have to say about what architecture will be like in 2020 (and to add your own opinion), visit www.2020architect.org.