Design is a power – underestimated by designers and ignored or exploited by others. Our collective failure to recognise the extents of power we yield as designers has ‘hollowed out’ architectural culture.
The opinions and criticism I hear around architecture’s obsession with the sublime and ineptitude of codifying it seem unnecessary through a UX lens. There can be method in madness.
I see images of these ‘stramps’ and others like them do the rounds on social media, accompanied with loads of praising comments like ‘this is so good for wheelchair users’ and ‘this is how you do great accessible design’. The problem is: it isn’t, and it isn’t.
The complexity of Architecture UX needs a simple reference point we can make a mess of and return to time and time again. As a UX designer, I’d developed a UX design process which I’m now adapting for Architecture. Read the six-phase process and get thinking about empathy and ego with me.
Here’s a short update on the WeWork/UX case study progress. I share my preliminary thoughts on the purpose of the case study, my theories and assumptions, like how I think WeWork applied a product-business model way of thinking to office space, using architecture as a research and development tool.
I’m introducing the research I’m starting for the first case study. WeWork recognised that UX research is a means to create architecture that responds to people and their humanity, and recruited a UX team to find out how. WeWork acquired architectural data literacy and reaped the rewards.
If we’re to see a culture change within Architecture that de-prioritises ‘value management’ and ‘architecture as an object’, we need the data that says it’s actually economically and environmentally correct to design for the human rather than the wallet or ego.
There’s a few keystone discussions about UX that need to happen in the AEC industry. These keystone discussions address, in the context of architecture and architectural practice: research; communication; business strategy; community; legislation; clients; technology; and culture.
Tristan Morgan, National Design Technology Lead: Innovation at COX Architecture and Teaching Associate at the University of Western Australia, has first-hand insight into the AEC/UX problem in both practice and practicality. He answers a few of my questions to help frame the project.
If we’re to define the UX/AEC problem, a great place to start is to look at the people who are walking away. So why are architects leaving the profession they trained long and hard for and becoming UX designers?