The building industry is currently responsible for global consumption of over 40% of natural
resources, 40% of energy use and 50% of landfill waste. Resource scarcity, climate change,
demography and migration, as well as the increasing number of stakeholders and parameters
in the design and construction process, pose additional challenges for architects and
engineers. Architects play a pivotal role in conceptualising the built environment, and they
have a responsibility to identify appropriate methods and tools for addressing and confronting these challenges.
The history of architecture shows how closely related technological progress and material
sciences are to architectural and urban development. The design and construction industry
has always benefited from the application of modern technology. Today, the potential of
digitalisation ranges from the use of leaner materials to climate-driven urban design based on
big data analysis and processing.
In our digital societies, the pervasiveness of data, technology and artificial intelligence
provides new opportunities to address the challenges of contemporary architecture. The
Architectural Council of Switzerland firmly believes that the tools provided by digitalisation will
enable architects to steer design and construction and contribute to developing a sustainable
built environment that meets the spatial, social, environmental and economic requirements of
future generations. We are convinced that architects must rethink their way of approaching
design and construction processes and refine their decision-making by applying the
multiplicity of environmental and material parameters in an integrated manner. It is therefore
imperative that we train the next generation of architects to be aware of the challenges our
societies face as a whole. We must also equip architects with the corresponding skills for
tackling these challenges effectively and creatively without compromising their aesthetic
competence and responsibilities.