There’s an old saying that change happens when the pain of changing is less than the pain of staying the same. I think that’s true, I also think that it’s not the only reason change happens. It can be motivated by ambition, a desire to be better or do better.
Change might relieve pain points or be driven by ambition. It’s aspirin v aspiration and a choice to be reactive or proactive.
Architects are paid to think in the service of others – creatively, critically, analytically, systemically, strategically, etc. I’m curious why they often don’t take enough time to think in the service of their practice. Failing to appraise their practice in a critical light or set goals and ambitions for their practice that might be motivators for change.
The practice of architecture is not immutable. Yet many assumptions are held tight around practice. If architects maintain their assumptions around their work, what they do and how they do it, what opportunities are they ignoring? What possibility are they missing? What change may come and take away their work, either in part or altogether?
It’s a topic that has been at the forefront of my thinking of late and I’ve written extensively on it over the last few months, as a way of thinking through it:
Upsetting the Axioms of Architecture: discussing challenging the assumptions in Architectural Practice.
The Reframing of Architectural Practice: a much longer read, and one of my most popular posts ever, identifying the risks of not considering a reframe of (or change in) practice and some ways to think about a new approach and reframe.
Changing the Inertia of Architectural Practice: In acknowledgement that change is hard, this post provides a process whereby you might begin to consider and implement change.
Architectural Practice from First Principles: An entirely different approach to seeing practice anew and rethinking how you might design your practice.
How to [Re]Start Architectural Practice: more ideas and strategies to try out to bring change to your architectural practice.
An analogy to consider…
In natural selection genetic diversity is rewarded as there is strength in diversity and the differences in genetic make up. How might your architectural practice be rewarded by standing out from the others in your difference, rather than being the same? What is the risk in being the same as other practices when change comes?
A question to ask of your practice right now…
Is it worth it?
Does what it take to win work, keep the office running and realise your projects feel like it’s worth the effort? Is it likely to change in the future to a “yes” or “no”? If the answer is at any point a “no” what are you going to do to change things?
Image by Taryn Elliott on Pexels [cropped & edited]