What Do Architects Do Anyway?

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Event finished: 6th November 2019

We’re hosting an informal meet-up to talk about how automation and tech are changing the design profession, and we want you to join us to be part of the discussion. The theme will focus on how tech can democratise the role of design and what that means for role of the design professional in the 21st century and asking the question ‘What Do Architects Do Anyway?’


The design profession is at a turning point – as digital technologies continue to automate and augment the design process, the place of the designer within the traditional design process is being called into question. From the rise of vertically integrated design firms such as WeWork and Katerra; the generative design tools of TestFit and ArchiStar; the ‘data-fication’ of our buildings, to the open-source sharing of design knowledge. All of these challenge the traditional consultancy model of architecture and design.

Yet beyond the future role of the designer, there is a much more fundamental question at play – a question of what we think technology is used for in design. About whether the design profession can go beyond the relentless optimisation and automation that’s currently gearing our cities towards efficiency, consumption and extraction. Or is there a greater role for designers in using technology to enable architectural knowledge and expertise to reach a greater audience in services of making better quality, more democratic, and sustainable cities and neighbourhoods.

We want you to help us explore the extent of how the architect’s role is changing and whether DesignTech has a role in its future.

Find out more this collaboration by reading the Medium blog post.

Throughout the morning we’ll run through examples of emerging new technologies, practices and business models that are using digital tools and automation to reshape where the designer sits in the process of making our cities.


Dark Matter Labs & Connected Places Catapult

FYI – Free coffee and breakfast