This is the ninth in a series of events related to the presidential theme of Tomas Rossant, AIA, “Dialogues from the Edge of Practice.” The theme intends to explore how architects are boldly enlarging the purview of the practitioner to bring their particular critical problem solving skills and design acumen to endeavors previously considered outside the traditional scope of practice. There has never been a time when the role of the architect has been more relevant as an instrument to shape culture, society, and positive environmental outcomes. “Dialogues” will engage the practitioners amongst us who are breaking rules, trying new things, and taking new risks—expanding the impact of the architect—and disseminate their experiences to our professional community.
“Edge Architects: Expanding the Definition of Architect” will examine the broad array of new practices and contemplate the impact of “para-professional” activities on the definition of architect. Driven by curiosity, lack of opportunity, demand, or economic incentives, many practioners today operate well outside the constraints of delivering “basic services” for fee. There are now many that call themselves “architect,” who may not be licensed, or not be practicing architecture as conservatively defined, yet who are making significant contributions to the built environment and the forward progress of culture.
This event was preceded by a think tank roundtable discussion with thought leaders deeply involved with expanding the definition of architect.