- What do you plan on talking about at Cityscape?
I will be taking a look back at 2020 and exploring how the architectural profession has been affected by the public health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. I will cover the work the RIBA has done in supporting the economic viability of the profession, maintaining the health and wellbeing of architects and those who build and occupy buildings and working towards a green economic recovery through the RIBA Recover Roadmap programme.
- What is the key message that you would like attendees to take away from your presentation?
2020 has been dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the architecture sector has been no exception. Instead of looking at the past, it is now critical that all professionals, especially architects, tap into new systems for the future. There have been delays to projects and a hit to confidence, but the sector has proved remarkably resilient. The RIBA has also been adapting to these new circumstances, moving to virtual events and support networks for its members across the globe. Whilst public health measures and viable vaccines should bring the coronavirus under control, architects believe that the health and wellbeing of architects and those who build and occupy buildings, towns and cities will continue to be a high priority as we move into a post-pandemic environment. In the RIBA Rethink competition, architects submitted ideas around the role of streets and green spaces, the reinvention of villages and re-configuring work and education settings.
Despite a year of disruption, the RIBA remains focused on the single biggest issue facing the profession – playing our part in a green economic recovery and the role of the built environment in dealing with the climate emergency.
- What do you forecast for the industry as a whole and how do you think the real estate industry will do in 2021?
Whilst we will face some economic challenges, the outlook for architecture and construction across the globe remains positive - provided we utilise our skills to deliver buildings and cities that are adaptable to changing living and working arrangements, as we enter a period of working in an increasingly digitally connected age. The pandemic has forced everyone to reconsider the place of real estate in society and its impact on how people live day-to-day, work and stay safe in their daily lives.