What is the role of the architect today? How does it differ from that of the past and what lessons can we learn from the past? These are questions that JUUL | FROST Architects reflect upon in their newly released book Lifting the Gaze. This is their take on what may be required of architects in the future
The role of the architect has moved on from a supermanrole in the past, where the architect was somewhat more independent and even a shot-caller, to a new supervisorrole, one that is highly interdependent.And this change is one of the challenges that the newly released book Lifting the Gazereflects on.
“We have experienced how our role as architects over the years has taken a turn in a more democratic and creative direction. Today, local stakeholders are co-producers throughout the process, and our classic role as ‘master builders’ has been extended with other important tasks, such as acting as a mediator and process facilitator. Society constantly change, and as architects, we are continuously demanding answers to what the future will hold; therefore, insight and knowledge about the great challenges of our society and the new needs of people are the added value we want to bring to projects,” says Helle Juul, Founding Partner.
Lifting the Gaze
The book Lifting the Gazecomprises a series of essays, in which urban theories are reread, and projects re-examined and reconsidered under the conditions of the present.
The architects reflect on how architecture affects the way we live, learn and work, and architecture’s ability to facilitate communities and collaborations. The architects draw a richly illustrated picture of how the studio’s research in housing concepts, campus development and public space is transformed into new methods and architecture that ensure social interaction and -sustainability.
They ask, what can previous experiences and thoughts teach us about how to solve the challenges of the future and to see new possibilities?
“One of the projects we re-visit and re-examine is the project Better Affordable Housing (Bedre Billigere Boliger), which we designed 12 years ago. Through the project, we learned that social interaction doesn’t only happen because of communal spaces, but also due to the fact that the buildings are placed in such a way that they support and incite interaction between people. This knowledge is applicable to future projects with a focus on sustaining and engaging communities and making cities more liveable,”says Flemming Frost, Founding Partner.
Communities of the future
Demographic changes in society demand new communities and change the way architects create spaces and think about communities. It’s about making interactions between people possible, by designing architecture that inspires new meetings.
“We have a great desire for architecture to become even more supportive of social diversity. We want to create architecture that creates room for people to meet across generations and cultures. The architecture should not only interact with the building’s direct users, but with everyone in the environment, from neighbours to strangers,” says Helle Juul.
Helle Juul concludes:
“The new role of the architect is one where the architect must be much more aware of the liveability of communities and societies and of the ever-changing needs of the users.”
Read more about Lifting the Gaze here