The Business of Architecture – Post-Pandemic

The situation we are in today is very much unprecedented, not only on a personal level, but also on a professional one, which is felt across all industries. While the global pandemic has impacted the economy, it has also transformed the dynamic by which our world operates, particularly with regards to our behaviour towards the many events surrounding us.

Every activity in life, from the simple to the mundane to the more challenging, now requires more micro-management. And in terms of our industry, as a design practice and as architects, it appears that we have to overcome both internal and external challenges.

When it comes to internal challenges, the solution lies in finding upskilled professionals who have the right skill and mindset, and who understand the latest trends and software. Those who are highly motivated can work from anywhere with minimum monitoring and guidance.

In order to have such professionals at U+A, we promote company culture and philosophy. It appears that people who work together as team members for long periods of time can potentially address the challenges we face today better and more efficiently.

Having said that, our external challenges include clients, authorities and, most importantly, contractors. The chain of events that occur between consultant/architect, clients, authorities and contractors, despite the region’s experience in construction, is not as advanced as it should be. Therefore, deficiency in the level of information, skilled labour, and construction laws and regulations have resulted in low-quality product, creating frustration among all involved. One of the important aspects, which fills this gap between the different parties, is advanced technology, or digitalisation. We have used and we will continue using the latest technology at our disposal to address such challenges, and enhance our design and product.

It is clear, especially after what we experienced in the past year, that having better infrastructure, such as high-speed internet, the ability to communicate with clients and authorities remotely, as well as to communicate and inspect a contractor’s work using technology will become ever-more imperative to our industry.