The [arch] Office: A ToastingDesign 6 Part Series

24 Apr

What’s next?  Great question, one that many people have thought about for the office of architects and architecture firms. This is the same question that Architect Magazine asked in their January edition of ARCHITECT. So, what did they discover?

Quite simply, there has been no better time to reinvent how we think about our practices. While many look at the recession as a deterrent to progress, many firms have started to rethink, even in small ways, the future of their practice and the industry at large.  Some of the ideas might sound a bit far fetched and absurd: “Your firm should cultivate a vegetable garden. Employees shouldn’t have to work fixed hours. Your next client will find you via Twitter. Five percent of the bottom line should be dedicated to research.”


Some of that sounds farfetched, but as Architect puts it, “ideas such as these are already the reality at many firms around the country. And those firms are seeing the benefits.

There are a variety of words that we should expect to see throughout the series discussion: “Return on Investment, Collaboration, Flexibility, Speed, and Data.” In my opinion, these are all great words that most architecture firms, unfortunately, aren’t focusing on very much in their practice. However, our profession is starting to change. Architect mentions that as they conclude their intro: “As the profession changes and become more of an interdisciplinary pursuit, as client expectations grow more complex, as technology continues to evolve at warp speed, firms will need to consider where they want to be in five years, in a decade.”

“These are challenging times, yes, but this is also an era of great opportunity.”

In a new ToastingDesign series, I’m going to present their findings outlined in their monthly What’s Next article “The Office: Your Office, Your Future.”  They discovered that the offices that are moving forward encompass a broad range of people, personalities, disciplines, and locations.  These firms and architects are learning what it means to stay relevant and invest in their talent…and office!

The series will present the 6 parts of the office that they feel we should tackle and named appropriately as meet, research, focus, nurture, grow, and nourish.

The "Next Generation" Architecture Office (copyright Architect Magazine)

Tune in every Monday for the next six weeks for the release of each part:

  • Part 1: Meet – 04.30.2012
  • Part 2: Research – 05.07.2012
  • Part 3: Focus – 05.14.2012
  • Part 4: Nurture – 05.21.2012
  • Part 5: Grow – 05.28.2012
  • Part 6: Nourish – 06.04.2012

Please leave your thoughts or comments, as I would love to hear YOUR thoughts on the future of the office in our profession. Have a great week!


Based on The Office: Your Office, Your Future from the January edition of ARCHITECT. To read the into article, feel free to visit

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