The Ove Arup Foundation has made its annual award for 2018 to a student who will be carrying out post-graduate studies at the Royal Danish Academy for Fine Arts (KADK) in Copenhagen. This year, the award goes to Archie Cantwell, and his work on ‘The changing role of the architect as strategic designer’.
An outline of his proposed course of study reads as follows:
“Whilst the city used to be the exclusive field of the architect, it is now shared between a diverse range of urban practitioners: from corporate agendas keen to take a stake in the exploding urban market, to a smorgasbord of ‘urban thinkers’.
“Within this crowded field, the responsibility of architecture to express public values is becoming increasingly diluted. The profession of architecture is at an impasse. Either it becomes pivotal in steering cities, or it fades into obsolescence.
“Historically, the architect and craftsman have been tightly correlated professions. Today however, it seems deeply uncomfortable to suggest that architecture, fixated on virtues associated with craft, would be entirely adequate in responding to the profound socio-political shifts of recent years.”