Love thy Neighbor
Photo by Nina Strehl

What are the benefits of bringing the global architectural community closer?

As globalization and new technology has brought us closer than ever in a variety of ways, how has the architecture field been impacted? What are the benefits of bringing the global architecture community closer? Both Sir Peter Cook from Crab Studio and Kenneth Drucker from HOK define the benefits from their respective perspectives.

Architecture throughout time has been defined by those that design it. It has been used to create barriers and wall off communities, and it has been used to connect communities and create lively civic spaces. With the advent of the internet and the increasingly rapid forms of communication comes a need within architecture firms to challenge old and out-dated views. These platforms for communication and collaboration create a stage on which the global community can define the morals and issues that are most important. Just as architecture creates the stage where culture lives.

Sir Peter Cook talks about the importance of cross fertilization of our cultural stream, which means that “Luddite views of ongoing culture sometimes tiresome…” These recycled and reused ideas must be challenged, and by bringing differing ideas and perspectives together under the same roof, we may be able to sustain this challenge.

“New York City can sometimes be incredibly parochial and not even be aware of cultural changes happening on the other side of the country.”

Architects should try their best to be in touch with the changing dynamics of society, in order to represent these changes in the design of new spaces. After all, these are the spaces that will be used by humans from all over the globe.

Kenneth Drucker further dives into this topic by doubling down on the importance of cross-cultural exchange between Americans and Europeans, and how it is necessary to trade ideas and technology (Scale issues, urban design issues, architect tech difference, and textural & craft issues. etc). New York City is one of the architectural capitals of the world due to the melting pot effect on culture and architectural ideas.

“European architects have urbanity to their work and different layers of people communicate design & operate within public and urban realm.”

He agrees with Sir Peter Cook that Europeans are global individuals, and thus are able to challenge parochial views.

All together
Photo by Tim Marshall

Both thought leaders within the industry understand the role they must play, as well as the role that any architect plays in representing society and culture. The cookie cutter architecture design must be challenged, and “instagramification” of architecture creates a powerful tool that threatens the uniqueness of each project. Every design process should keep in mind who they are serving and representing! Who will be using this space? Are they represented within this design?

In this Huffington Post article, “How Architecture Can Bring Communities Together” they talk about the importance of design and how architecture creates the stage for culture to be protected and over time, changed. They highlight what both Sir Peter Cook and Kenneth Drucker mention in regards to protecting the diversity of opinion and perspectives within architecture.


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