Michael Mortensen’s reply to my post yesterday presents the perfect segue to another topic I wanted to discuss this week.

His comment “OUR PREDECESSORS BUILT FOR THE FUTURE” is exactly one of the issues facing Vancouver today – it is trapped between a desire to be the BEST, and a swathe of institutional inertia which sits between it and that. (The projects under the transit referendum, for instance, present exactly the kind of forward thinking projects which used to be common – projects which specifically consider the public good both now and in the future.)

But before I write more, I’ll link to this article … and also propose that the word Architects could, in each instance below, be replaced just as well by the word City:

Why Architects Shouldn’t Wait to Be Asked to Do Rad Shit

“But what if we imagine that architects could initiate more projects? What if we imagine architecture as something more akin to a product industry? After all, architecture is a pretty weird service industry, with services certainly not as straightforward as a plumber’s or a doctor’s — or perhaps as useful sometimes — and with a form of product (drawings, models, presentations …) that lead to other products (buildings). What if rather than waiting to be asked to solve problems, architects could identify needs or opportunities (or “markets”) and offered solutions to address those needs? Could architects initiate more projects? Could architecture become more streamlined, efficient, cost-effective, far-reaching, accessible, and profitable? Could architecture follow a VC model? Could more client-architect relationships change into partnerships? Could architects have both a voice and a hand in how our cities are built?”

This also ties in perfectly with an article which Michael sent me on the weekend about the upcoming MOV show:

Architects reimagine future of Vancouver in exhibit

Your Future Home: Creating the New Vancouver is a timely and provocative exploration of the future of Vancouver as a response to the mounting concern on the changes taking place in the region, shifting the dialogue  from real estate  to the future state of the city.”