design must respond to crisis

There is of course an enormous amount of discussion at this moment about the global economic crisis (Archinect) – a lot of designers are trembling at the mouse, and firms are buckling down. Things in the Netherlands are not as bad as the situation in the US, but we are quickly catching up, unfortunately.

Are we looking into a big, scary void of less work and lessened ambition as we anticipate lean days ahead? Is this the only response?

Clearly the answer is no. The world will not grind to a halt but a serious reevaluation must take place which will overlay the way architecture, landscape, and urbanism have already been evolving.

I believe our greatest challenge in the coming years will be to use our skills as designers to find the necessary solutions to the big issues – the densification of almost all urban areas on earth and the continued degradation of environmental quality. And the financial crash is going to force us to be even more ingenious, courageous, and daring than ever before.

We will need all our collective imaginations and optimism to get through it, so let’s get to it.

Yours in hopeful endeavor,

Jacques

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