Greg Powers

Architecture is built upon a foundation of science and guided by centuries-old principles—with an eye toward the future and a drive to leave our society better than we found it. Through the ages, our profession has used technology to solve what most assumed were unsolvable problems.

Technology has always enhanced our role as leading-edge innovators and creators and helped architects keep pace with rapidly changing societal expectations of the built environment.

Today, that has never been truer. Modern technology—including virtual reality, augmented reality, 3D printing, artificial intelligence, and the internet of things— consists of essential tools that will help architects do what we do best: Drive positive change through the power of design.

Embracing game-changing technology is critical to our long-term ability to grow our practice, and to improve how we create and design for our clients and successfully steward the environment.

Ultimately, today’s technological tools, when tempered with a focus on the common good, can amplify and augment the art, understanding, and compassion we bring to creating a better-built world. While it is true that we, as a global society, have unprecedented challenges ahead, we also have powerfully disruptive technological tools to meet them.

Bottom line, we will only be able to achieve our shared goals of stopping or mitigating climate change and ensuring social justice and economic opportunity for all by making the most of leading-edge technologies.

Our focus—as a profession, as Americans, and as global citizens—should be to use our unique skill set, augmented by technology, to serve our society and ultimately, to leave a world that is better for our time and our talent. Our collective ability to successfully address today’s challenges will determine how future generations will live, and how this generation will be remembered.

The connection between technology and architecture is enduring and essential to architecture’s ability to express society’s highest ideals. And while technology often makes our jobs easier and more efficient, it can never replace the art, passion, and soul architects bring to design.

Our contribution, the spark of creativity, love of innovative design, and focus on the common good is what creates solutions that heal, protect, and elevate the human experience. Ultimately, technology allows us to be better partners and listeners for our clients and better leaders in our communities.