Head: o. Univ.-Prof. BArch. MArch. Hani Rashid
real challenge for architects is to produce works that have the potential to positively impact our future cities, urban spaces,
architecture, and therefore the immutable spirit of humankind.
Teaching architecture today in the post-information
age requires both the agility and the desire to embrace constant change, especially when it comes to “designing” pedagogy.
Any radical position today can be easily and expediently co-opted by mainstream practices and transformed into a new normal.
Perhaps the most obvious yet profound question to ask within a pedagogical framework is how the role of the architect might
evolve as we venture into the near and deep future. More than ever there is a pressing need to rethink and retool our discipline,
as well as to reconsider our pedagogical methods in such a way that we can not only anticipate, but also shape and meaningfully
contribute to, the moving target that is the future.
At the Studio_Hani_ Rashid we have coined the term ‘spatial
engineer’ to articulate a redefinition of our discipline and pursuits in architecture, using this nomenclature to illuminate
what one might say is our ‘core competency’. In other words, our expertise resides between the realms of art and engineering.
Our domain is a terrain of spatial concerns set against the realities of quantitative logic, be that in the realms of structural
engineering, economic constraints, environmental sustainability, and so on. Namely, the proficiency that we need to hone is
(as it always has been for the architect) that of ‘building’ an assembly from many disparate parts, vectors, and phenomena.
It is with this somewhat ambiguous but nevertheless critical label of the ‘spatial engineer’ that we understand our ‘expertise’,
enabling us to work alongside other ‘experts’ who are crucial to the designs of our buildings, environments, and cities. We
have entered an era of rapid change in which the autonomy of the singular visionary is no longer viable. Today, and even more
so in the future, the collaboration between the architect and other disciplines with diverse areas of expertise is key to
harnessing the many opportunities that lay before us. As architects, our ability to traverse art, science, business, philosophy,
and engineering brings relevance to our discipline and places it in a key position.