January 12, 2022

David Polzin Shares Hopes, Fears and Disruptors for Design in 2022 with ARCHITECT

Our Executive Director of Design, David Polzin, is part of a new piece from Architect Magazine that asks designers to share their leading hopes, fears and disruptive ideas for the year(s) ahead in architecture.

At the piece’s outset, it states, “with dynamic challenges facing the industry, and the planet, Architect wanted to create a compass or sorts to help navigate the coming year. So we reached out to leading architects and design leaders for their ideas.

The full roundup is published online. Below are David’s contributions:

We need to be relentless in our pursuit of architecture with a conscience. The past few years have crystallized the reality that design has consequences that ripple across our communities, society, and the environment. We can’t settle for obvious solutions to complex problems; we have to engage people less seen and forces less acknowledged to create human spaces that affect broad, systemic, and meaningful change.

The fear is that we as a profession may not evolve fast enough. That we remain tied to our past experiences and practices and may inadvertently reinforce inequalities—social, economic, etc. The question is, how do you enact big positive change? My fear is we don’t arrive at a solution as rapidly as we must.

Grappling with mental health at a societal scale. The pandemic has amplified mental health challenges for children, students, faculty and staff, the workplace, those with acute care needs, geriatric populations, and everyone in between. We’re seeing rampant depression, anxiety, isolation, ADHD, and even increased suicide. The mental health crisis in this country is taking its toll, but it’s also an incredible moment for architecture to design for deep human needs and nourish our collective soul.