Local New York architect Gregg Pasquarelli of SHoP Architects recently gave a speech at the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture’s Teachers Seminar 2011. He addresses numerous issues that are currently being debated within the profession where the theme of the three-day seminar was “Performative Practices.” The roles of the architect and builder, the architect and engineer, etc. The roles of architects as instruction makers who outsource to specialists in façade or fabrication may not be as clear as in previous generations. His own firm is prime example of the shifting of roles. SHoP has branched off with its own SHoP Construction subsidiary that is managing the fabrication of their design for the new Barclays Center rusted steel skin. More details after the break.
Pasquarelli notes that they are currently ahead of the construction industry and are capitalizing on these territories untouched by other professions/trades in order to stay relevant. The importance of design remains strongly rooted within the architecture profession, but as technology expands, the integration between architects, engineers, contractors, and trade specialists becomes more intertwined. Surely expanding into these fields or at least becoming fluent within them serves to benefit the profession.
In an age when buildings are being branded with their architects name; Nouvel Chelsea and New York by Gehry, the performance is becoming more of a brand than anything else. The extension of a firm’s principle practice into other areas can have varying effects. More control over the end result is a positive, and it is becoming increasingly popular for architects to take stakes in the designs they are producing for developers, especially in the high-rise condo market.