How Soon is Now?
I attended the Australian Institute of Architects annual conference in Adelaide. The vague conference theme, How Soon is Now? (taken from a song by the British alternative rock band, The Smiths) left a lot of room for a wide-ranging discussion. With the world trend to urbanisation it was not surprising that the relationship between architecture and urban design was a key topic of debate. Equally unsurprising, given that 95% of the audience were architects, was the general consensus that architects must be involved at every scale in the design of our evolving cities. Jeffrey Shumaker, New York’s chief urban designer, argued for a 'just city' where quality (of design) was available for everyone, everywhere. He offered 5 tips for designing in an urban context.
- Know the site – over time.
- Engage through visualisation.
- Think across scales – buildings to citywide.
- Think long-term.
- Question the status quo.