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Transformative design: Autonomy, agility, technology, and connectivity drive change

October 01, 2018

By Anton Germishuizen

Celebrating World Architecture Day by exploring how we can design a better world—and opportunity is everywhere

As we celebrate World Architecture Day, design has never played a more important role in addressing the challenges presented to us by urbanization, growth, and advances in technology. Architecture—and more broadly the design of our built environment—touches everything we do every day. We find ourselves in transformational times where the profession is being redefined in a changing world of increased demands on program and buildings. And opportunity is everywhere.

At Stantec, we are driving a stronger relationship between architecture, interiors, engineering, and landscape to the cities we work in. We learn what the city needs and in turn our designs are influenced and reflective of the greater urban ecosystem—to design a better world. 

Design that has a strong humanist foundation enhances the user experience. Architecture that understands its place, scale, and context enriches the community around it. Buildings informed by its culture, institutional legacy, and society can address social equity. Structures that anticipate the inevitable changes of program, use, site, and conditions may extend value in a world of declining resources. And simplicity of idea, response, vocabulary, and material is perhaps the best discipline of all. Therein lies the strength of great architecture and the power of good design.

As we look forward to where architecture can and will take the built environment, we’re investing in autonomy, agility, technology, and connectivity to drive our practice forward.

Architecture that understands its place, scale, and context enriches the community around it.

Autonomy drives entrepreneurialism and engagement. Human motivation is largely intrinsic, and its autonomy encourages entrepreneurialism and engagement. By helping employees make progress, by giving meaningful feedback and choice over how to do things, and by encouragement—we’ll see higher job satisfaction and better design solutions.

Agility is the ability to renew, adapt, and succeed in a rapidly changing world. Learning organizations seek to create their own future—this assumes learning is an ongoing and creative process for its members—and develops, adapts, and transforms itself in response to the needs and aspirations of people, both inside and outside.

Technology is rapidly changing and offering opportunities to learn. The complexity of learning is greatly influenced by the built environment. Good design can advance learning and teaching models while poor design most certainly results in lost productivity or, worse, deprives users of optimal learning.

Connectivity allows us to capitalize on the design opportunities inherent in growth and urbanization. Stantec’s ability to understand and support complex integrated systems that drive resiliency and sustainable communities is our biggest asset. Connecting the relevant dots across our business lines and leading design of the built environment is how we deliver significant future value.

Now, more than ever, designs that responds to the larger environment deliver better outcomes. Design matters!

Cambridge Memorial Hospital Redevelopment (Cambridge, Ontario)

A place for healing—inspired by the river, landscape, and community—that meets meet the standards for contemporary patient care.

Canada’s first institutional net zero building providing a space for learning and discovery.

Sustainable expansion to accommodate twice the passenger capacity in a growing community.

The balance of security and safety to provide a positive visitor experience.

  • Anton Germishuizen

    A senior vice president, Anton fosters a commitment to design excellence and the growth of Stantec’s design culture

    Contact Anton
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