[Sticky] Welcome to Architect Africa Generation II
Welcome to the new Architect Africa platform. After 25 interesting years online the time has to come to implement the concepts that were formulated in 1995 by the founders. The time is right - as is the technology available at all points of the value chain.
To do this founders and owners have assembled a young and dynamic team to spearhead the new initiatives.
When the practice of Architecture was bound to physical locations and objects the work acquisition networks on which the architect depends were very limited and competition for work was fierce. Now that we can comfortably practice in the digital realm we recognise that the architect's reach and ability to network and self promote is almost limitless.
The ability for architect and client to connect remotely has been around for some twenty odd years but it was not until quite recently that it has become practical, functional and cost effective for both parties.
It is probably due to the dreaded COVID proposition that remote working has entered the mainstream of the global economy and civil society alike. The mass availability of affordable mobile devices and services as well as the expansion of dependable fiber networks and wifi services has had a lot to do with it.
So if we consider that architects now communicate digitally at all levels and that the earth's population is amply supplied with digital communication devices to receive their communications it follows that the two should connect and transact business to the benefit of all and sundry.
Before this can happen, though, a shift has to occur in the architect's mindset; this is easy or natural for some and impossible for others. It is the end of the reactive and the birth of the solutions driven pro-active architect. It is the age of the remote architect. (It's exciting stuff but you don't see anyone jumping up and down!)
We know that less than 10% of the buildings in South Africa are designed by architects. That figure is bound to be much smaller in most other African countries. That leaves 90% of the buildings to be designed and built by those that are the least qualified to be doing it. Yet that is how we structured our profession; for any architect to acquire a steady and profitable stream of work over an extended that architect has to belong to an elite within an elite; not easy if you were born the wrong whatever in the wrong place at the wrong time, which seems to be the case for most of us. In fact it is outright impossible for most graduates.
And that were Architect African Generation II comes in...
Africa is an exploding urban population phenomenon of gigantic significance. On the one hand we have hundreds of millions of people surviving hand to mouth in dreadful urban environments and on the other we have thousands of architects sitting on their thumbs waiting for governments or corporations to do dish out work which may or may not benefit the continent's population and environment. And that seldom happens and it only happens to those who inhabit cliques within cliques.
Architect Africa is extending an invitation to all architects, designers, technologists, engineers and planners to join us in exploring this brand new world of Remote Architectural Services that has the ability to change our dreadful built environments into something beautiful and extraordinary - and keep us from starving quietly...
We can do this if we can connect architect and common man; the 90% that have been alienated from Architecture and architectural services have a need and a desire to connect. The architect has the desire but frequently lacks the ability to connect at a functional digital scale and still prefers to see the profession as a non commercial elite of artists, academics and scientists. Nice self image - if you can afford it.
The Architect Africa platform aims to define, refine and propagate remote architectural services to Africa and the world. We have a roadmap, which we are going to be rolling out over the coming months, which leads to structured and formalised methods of remote practice and the world wide dissemination of the same.
As a remote digital architect you have a choice of establishing a completely passive income, offering blended services or attaining digital stardom.
Watch this space. Hasta luego.