s*arc: salvador rivas architects is a comprehensive design consultancy and support network that has the aim of delivering innovative, unique and sustainable projects with a positive impact. Mexico Infrastructure & Sustainability Review interviewed Salvador Rivas, Founder and Director of s*arc to ask him about the main trends in architecture and their implementation in Mexico.
Q: Why is variation in architectural design the way of the future?
A: Different types of design represent the future while giving a nod to past techniques. Architects and designers risk getting lost in style and are now coming back to forgotten techniques. For example, the new trend is mixed-used and co-working spaces, which is somehow a traditional concept. We increasingly have more specialized typologies, as clients are expecting new things all the time. The challenge becomes one of knowing how to combine the different methodologies for different uses. Our favorite projects are mixed-use models that represent the challenge of mixing recreation, culture, housing and commercial. Architects must identify this new reality and adapt it to their designs. We are part of this transformation. Change is the force motivating us to be better in what we do.
Q: What are the main challenges and trends driving the work of architecture firms?
A: Our industry in Mexico faces the challenge of changing its mindset instead of aiming to carry out projects quickly and cheaply. We must plan for the long term. But having said this, adaptability is key as architects and designers can no longer plan buildings that will last for a century. Rapidly changing contexts and patterns call for adaptability, which must be supported by the use of technologies. Designers, for example, are relying on new tools and solutions. If we compare the architecture industry with automotive or aerospace, we find that we are still largely behind their developments. We are building as we did 50 years ago and this must change.
Q: How do you create a match between the architect’s design, the developer’s expectations and the user’s demands?
A: It is key to assess the conditions in which projects will take place, from socio-economic, cultural and environmental approaches before drafting a proposal. This provides our client with an added value and protects their investments. I believe that the architect is the instrument that enables clients, developers, collaborators and authorities, to share perspectives to better define and clearly establish a project’s goals and objectives. My experience tells me that lack of communication and consensus between all the parties involved makes projects more challenging.
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