The 2022 Pivots in Architecture

Every “Year In Review” assessment of anything is both myopic and timely. That being said, 2022 was a "Boom" time for architects (and the building industry in general). This snapshot will change in 2023 when this year’s manufactured interest rate jumps will crib death this short and intense boom.

But some things have more meaning than can be found in the moment. 2022 proved that the “Mad Men” model in the profession as a white male clubhouse is over. Gender and race inequalities remain in architecture, but they are acknowledged flaws in urgent need of correction. Beyond these evolutions and revolutions, a new generation of architects is changing the profession.

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There are two 2022 events that signal that architecture, like the rest of our culture, has turned away from the last century.   

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) was the one spine of the American architectural profession in the 20th century – but small firm architects, like me, did not find the association reflected their values. EntreArchitect was founded in 2012 as an online platform to help small firm architects.

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Soaring Wings / Winn Wittman Architecture . Image © Tom McConnell

EntréArchitect creates forums for direct interaction between architects beyond online affinity groups listening to “experts” on podcasts or celebrating the idiosyncrasies of architectural culture on a blog. The organization is all about the work all small firm architects of every description do. This focus had a seminal expression when its first national conference happened in Austin, Texas in November, and its multiple efforts are universal and aesthetically ecumenical. The membership is approaching 10,000 and growing.

This is just the beginning. We support a platform to practice architecture in new ways and establish a recognized brand of architect ‘problem solvers' throughout the world.- architect Mark R. LePage, EntreArchitect Podcast

Another iconic 20th-century century manifestation of architectural identity, the Pritzker Prize, had the realities of 21st-century century architecture become manifest in an essential change in the criteria used in consideration for the award.

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Diébédo Francis Kéré. Cortesia de PMA. Image © Lars Borges

Since 1979 the Pritzker Prize had been an award that defined the profession’s “Canon.” But this year’s winner, Diebedo Francis Kéré, is not a “Starchitect” - unlike virtually all his predecessors, and he is not a “High Modernist” as nearly all the previous winners were. This year’s award extends a 21st-century Pritzker Prize focus on diversity (Kéré is black, and often builds in Africa) but also refutes the award’s tradition (with an exception or two) of aesthetic orthodoxy. Kéré’s recognition reflects a new, universal connection to a worldwide forum, where any architect is available to millions of viewers: no editor, jury, or academy needed.

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Surgical Clinic and Health Center. Image Courtesy of Francis Kéré

Going beyond a style screed, Kéré work transforms the realities that architects are bathed in every day: where their work is done and how that work reflects what those living with the building value - what our clients and communities value. Kéré’s architecture reflects a profession coming to terms with timeless values beyond the abstractly formal and pretentiously intellectual.

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Gando Primary School / Kéré Architecture. Image © Erik Jan Ouwerkerk

These two 2022 phenomena have manifested a new architecture profession that finds focus in an internet-driven cultural definition. The age of elite curators like the AIA and the Pritzker Prize defining value in architecture has changed into an open, diverse, direct connection between designers and the rest of the world – and between each other. Change is good.

This article is part of the ArchDaily Topics: Year in Review presented by Randers Tegl.

“When creating unique architecture, visionary ideas aren’t always enough. A unique look demands character, courage, and distinctive materials. And a format to achieve the extraordinary. At Randers Tegl, we aim to add a unique touch to exceptional brickworks by bringing premium bricks to life and into the world of architecture. Making the impossible possible. We are proud to be a part of unique architecture worldwide since 1911.”

Every month we explore a topic in-depth through articles, interviews, news, and projects. Learn more about our ArchDaily topics. As always, at ArchDaily we welcome the contributions of our readers; if you want to submit an article or project, contact us.

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Cite: Duo Dickinson. "The 2022 Pivots in Architecture" 04 Jan 2023. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

Gando Primary School / Kéré Architecture. Image © Erik Jan Ouwerkerk

2022 年建筑行业转折点

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