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Stagnant Feedback equals Stagnant Thought in Architecture



We have a tremendous admiration for architects—the men and women who literally design comfort, usefulness, and beauty into the buildings we use every day. Their form of creation is raw and tethered only to the constraints of materials, budgets, and their imagination. Good architecture can change everything about a business; bad architecture can do the same.


Recently, architects have come under fire by some critics as being out of touch with the people who use their buildings. In one particularly scathing piece, Christine Outram claims:


“I used to think it was impossible for you to respond to an audience in the way that tech startups do. These startups can build a product, release it over the Internet and adjust it based on the feedback they get. It’s an iterative process. Architecture, I thought, was too permanent for that. There was too much at stake, there was only one chance to get it right, there were too many variables.”


While the article continues in a fashion we don’t particularly agree with, Outram does raise some fair points concerning the feedback cycle for architecture; once a building is completed, there’s only so much that architects can learn from it after-the-fact—traditionally through surveys and discussions with tenants.


But, what if there was a better way? What if architects had access to real, meaningful usage information after a building had gone up? Better yet, what if organizations could provide data before a building is even designed?


It’s an interesting challenge, and one we’re giving a lot of thought to at the moment. After all, our existing CrowdComfort app already offers a great deal of insight into space usage, wear and tear, and building efficiency. If applied intelligently, we believe architects would stand to learn a tremendous amount from past designs, and even about how their clientele’s current building usage should inform future designs.


Isn’t it time that architecture leverage big data for powerful insights, just as other industries have? Isn’t it time that architecture underwent a “smart revolution?” In any event, look for more discussion on these topics in the coming months. We’re excited about the potential to wield our technology in helping one of the world’s oldest and most revered professions, and look forward to your input!


Want to continue this discussion as it pertains to your individual architectural firm? Let’s get in touch and schedule a time to speak; we’d love to hear more about what sorts of features you’d find useful.

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