What sets 2017’s best architects apart from the rest?

Posted On 2017-03-27

What sets 2017’s best architects apart from the rest?

The world’s best architects combine engineering genius with creative artistry. They strive to be at the leading edge of their field – both in terms of design and functionality. Modern technology makes innovation easier than ever. Global challenges make this innovation more crucial now than it has ever been.

So, what is on the cards for architecture in 2017? What are the most original architectural trends we see on the horizon for this twelve-month period?

After poring over the work of our favourite architects, we’ve identified seven staples that will define inventive, ground-breaking architecture in 2017 and beyond. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be looking at seven different ways the best architects are setting themselves apart in 2017 and beyond. We’ll also share some of our favourite examples of these every week.

Top Seven Architectural Trends for 2017


Break the rules

It’s never been easier to design and create – well, almost anything.

Be inspired

Einstein said it best:

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle, the other is as though everything is a miracle.”

Never lose that wide-eyed wonder that drew you to your craft in the first place. There’s inspiration to be found everywhere:

  • History;
  • The work of others;
  • Art of every type;
  • Nature and the world around us;
  • And the people we’re designing for.

Draw on the past

Consider the buildings that have lasted. What made them work? Look at those that didn’t last: why not? What can we learn from them?

Design for the future

Anticipate trends. Better yet, create work that is timeless.

Design for sustainability

The idea of sustainability grows out the concept of designing for the future. This refers to efficiency specifically, and efficient use of materials and resources generally. Sustainability also includes innovations in the use of recycled materials for construction, and trends in waste management and reduction. Sustainable design is design that adds to the world we’re creating for, without taking from it.

Use technology

It’s amazing. And it’s changing the world – literally. In fact, according to Autodesk.com,

“The AEC industry will see more change in the next ten years than most of us have seen in our lifetimes, creating both threat and opportunities.”

Autodesk vice president Phil Bernstein describes three disruptions that will change the future of making things:

  • The means of production – designers and builders can collaborate in new ways using digital tools; and the very way in which we create is different thanks to building information modelling (BIM – see below).
  • The nature of demand – ever more sophisticated consumers have keen insight into the processes, materials, and impact of each project and can become more specific in what they want and expect.
  • The changing character of the resulting products – physical outcomes are now deeply connected with digital systems. To accommodate the digital requirements of what we make, and the sophisticated specifications of our users, what we make and how we make it must evolve.

Bernstein posits that we have headed from manual drafting to computer-aided design, and we are now heading full-steam into an era of building information modelling (BIM), which allows makers to visualise, simulate, analyse, and then, based on that analysis, optimise what they create – from buildings to vehicles to tools, and everything imaginable in between.

Further, we are on the edge of the age of connection, which will change not only how we design and create, but why.

Design for people

They are the reason we do what we do, after all. Study usage patterns, needs, and more. This matters whether you’re designing for domestic or commercial/industrial architecture.

The start of each new year presents a blank canvas, ready for new ideas, new dreams – new self-expression. For some reason, when the calendar flips from December 31 to January 1, we feel the invigorating zing of a feast of fresh opportunities. Technology is surging forward with more innovations than most of us ever imagined we’d live to see. The next twelve months look set to take us into a new era of architectural innovation. Stick around and see what’s coming next.

Do you agree with our list of trends for the year ahead? What have we missed? Let us know. We’d love to hear from you!

What sets 2017’s best architects apart from the rest?

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