This week’s lessons 02

Before starting a new job, I had a week just for myself. Walking around and getting to know the city of Berlin, I was meditating about the biggest issues in architecture right now. What is disturbing me the most. I see three major problems:

Lack of feedback loops

Some friends in IT find it hard to believe, that in architecture there are almost no feedback loops. After setting a thesis -> finishing a project -> there is very seldom a check if we reached the set goal. No lessons learned, no checks how people are using our objects, where are potentials for improvement. After finishing a project, often, the project is – forgotten.

Evidence / data based planning

Similar, there is seldom data based decision making (see my post). Most decisions are sporadic, based on experience and best practices. Variants are usually limited to 3-5. I am still waiting to see simulations for also “smaller” design decisions. All three levels of an object: Design (form), Materials, and Function (usage) can benefit from a more data-driven approach.

Very few systems of financing projects

Sometimes I feel we are still stuck in the old models, of Investor -> Credit (bank) -> Construction model. The last decade has given us many new, alternative finance models, from confounding (kickstarter) to cryptocurrency. Fintech as industry is booming. There are some approaches to disrupt the construction financing models, like exporo, but I think more can be done.

For example a more organised way for creating construction collaboratives – a few families put the money on the table and build their own block. Cheaper as building separately, but it is hard to find compatible cofunders: the right time frame, similar lifestyles, similar taste, and credit capacity. A possible idea – an “dating” app, where families, interested in a commune, can find each other.

A second idea is sort of an “IPO” for buildings – selling shares, even very small of a building, to future investors / tennants. Havo to figure out the details, yet.

Motivation of the week (from BoJack horseman):

“… [improving] It gets easier every day, but you have to do it every day. That is the hard part.”

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