Changes occurred in architectural perspective after COVID-19
The pandemic has only emphasized the need for flexibility in our work. It didn’t just start with the virus. Architecture has historically been slow to react to the speed of change in society. It’s geofixed, heavy and expensive. It’s important that we continue to think about ways to prevent architecture’s obsolescence, stressing lightness, adaptability, suppleness.
Buildings should be able to adjust their programs, and reflect sudden economic changes or population increases. This kind of adaptability to economic, environmental, political change is really, really critical for the discipline to become important, vibrant and connected to what is happening.
Recommendations to students
Rather than be problem-solvers, I would urge you to be problem-makers of problems worth solving, and ask yourself: What works but needs fixing? What needs total condemnation? What is unrecoverable? And what is all of a sudden imaginable?
Elizabeth Diller is a partner of Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R). Alongside partner Ricardo Scofidio, Diller’s crossgenre work has been distinguished with TIME’s “100 Most Influential People” list and the first MacArthur Foundation fellowship awarded in the field of architecture. Most recently, she led two cultural works significant to New York: The Shed and the expansion of MoMA. Diller also co- created, -directed and-produced The Mile-Long Opera, an immersive choral work staged on the High Line. Diller is a member of the UN Council on Urban Initiatives and a Professor of Architectural Design at Princeton University.
Diller Scofidio + Renfro
The MacArthur Foundation identified Diller and Scofidio as, “architects who have created an alternative form of architectural practice that unites design, performance, and electronic media with cultural and architectural theory and criticism. Their work explores how space functions in our culture and illustrates that architecture, when understood as the physical manifestation of social relationships, is everywhere, not just in buildings.”