Will Hunter : Rethinking architecture in the 21st century

14 : 01 : 2013 The Architectural Review : Architecture : Will Hunter

Society is bombarded with architecture blogs that are full of visuals but often lack a meaningful critique. Will Hunter, deputy editor of international magazine The Architectural Review and a teacher at the Royal College of Art and London Metropolitan University, wants to address this and rethink the way we deliver architectural education. ‘It is becoming too expensive relative to the salaries in the profession, and it does not train people how to become an architect in the 21st century,’ he warns.

Top five take-outs

1. Widening access to architecture is crucial. ‘With the lack of resources, financial and ecological collapse, we need the best brains and widening access is crucial,’ says Hunter.

2. The re-use of existing structures is inevitable. As we run out of resources and money, and sustainability remains key, more buildings and empty sites will be given a second life. For more, read our Symbiotic Branding macrotrend.

3. Architecture needs to reconnect with place. ‘There is a danger that we design buildings simply for the moment on the internet,’ says Hunter. ‘This doesn’t fit in with history or culture or understand what architecture can do.’

4. Today’s architects are rewriting the rules. ‘They are deciding to do things just for themselves. If you can’t become a pop star because the record label doesn’t recognise you, you can just start making it happen on YouTube.’

5. Young architects want to re-engage socially. ‘It is the architect who should be designing what it means to live in the 21st century,’ says Hunter.