Hope Amid the Ruins
The latest issue of Design Intelligence lists the 25 most significant trends in 2010 – a year of convalescence.
First the gloomy news: recovery from our industry’s financial malaise will be very slow and painful, due primarily to the lack of private capital needed to support growth. The report’s co-authors, Jim Cramer and Jane Gaboury, predict that “a new normal will unfold, and with it plenty of pesky problems for architecture and design firm leaders.”
There will be, however, opportunities especially for strategic, or perhaps stubborn optimists among us. Leading the list, which was developed with input from 40 influential thought leaders in the design profession – sustainability drives design.
According to the report, “No longer are issues of sustainability separate from matters of aesthetics and performance. Architects, designers, and the public in general have embraced the notion that green design is an integral aspect of good design. And despite the severe economic contraction of the A/E/C market, designing projects for a LEED rating or comparable standard is allowing firms to enhance their sustainability offerings and providing a bright spot in an otherwise gloomy landscape.”
Other predicted trends are inexorably connected to sustainability: the ability to measure and verify systems performance, design accountability to society, energy expertise as a required skill, ditto with optimizing water use, and awareness of your projects’ carbon footprint.
Trend 25: pay attention to the three p’s of sustainability: people, planet and profit. It is here “where the future of the design professions will flourish.”
Purchase the full report at the Design Intelligence store.