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  • Writer's pictureAna Castañeda

Why Generation Z Is Transforming Architecture's Identity

People born after 1995 are referred to as Generation Z. As the internet gained popularity, they grew and began interacting with the outside world, integrating various forms of technology. This generation's behavior is influenced by the variety of media access, the rapidity of information flow, the interactivity of the virtual world, and the everyday usage of these technological resources, which encourage adaptability, skill, and curiosity. Additionally, they value variety, taking part in several groups at once, seeking out commonalities among various ways of thinking and doing, and being inclusive in whatever they do.

Globally, Gen Z students now make up the majority, and estimates indicate that by 2025, Gen Z employees will account for around 27% of the workforce. A 5% rise over the 51,980 applications received in 2021; according to current figures from the University College Admission Service (UCAS), an independent UK shared admission service institution for higher education, 54,810 applications to study architecture were accepted in 2022. Forty-eight thousand three hundred sixty persons applied to be architects at American and English colleges in 2019, continuing the growing trend.

And what connection does this generation have to the architectural industry?

It Is A Digital World

For starters, the architectural industry has gone digital, making it an intriguing alternative for the next generation due to the inherent abilities they already have. The digital age of architecture, with its augmented reality, BIM, nanotechnologies, data analytics, and AI, was tailor-made for the tech-savvy members of Generation Z.

Skill in 3D modeling is highly sought in several fields, including animation, video games, and advertising, and today's youth place a premium on adaptability and versatility in the workplace. Architects who double as game designers enhance immersion by creating a convincing environment and combining player reactions and physical sensations. Dan Van Buren, who worked on The Witness, among other developers, is one such architect.

The 2015 game is said to be the first cooperation of game developers, architects, and landscape designers. The Witness is set on a fictional island devoid of most artificial structures. Dan believes that architects can imagine and help game developers create an immersive setting to enhance the gaming experience following 5-7 years of a design study for an engaging user experience. Another illustration of this generation's internet and digital world usage is the relationship with social networks.

TikTok has been utilized by young people all around the globe to remark on urban concerns using the hashtag #suburbs, which piqued Generation Z's attention in urban policy and city administration. This conversation has influenced how this generation views problems previously deemed harsh and dominated by patriarchy for many years, pulling earlier generations away from vital debates.

Applying Skill Expansion

Furthermore, the other skills gained while studying architecture offer numerous new employment opportunities outside the immediate sector. Because they value connecting different streams of thought and overlapping worlds, this is an essential quality of Generation Z.

Architects will often graduate and work in fashion, design, advertising, agronomy, and cooking. In this case, Rustam Kungurov, a Russian architect, wanted to take his skills beyond the confines of paper. He took an interest in baking and pastry arts and used his knowledge of architecture to improve his baked goods. In 2009, he founded @tortikannuchka with his sister, who already had a bakery, and their beautifully crafted cakes quickly became popular on Instagram.

Rustam has already completed special orders for companies such as Adidas, Nike, Spotify, and Moma, and he has over a million Instagram followers who like watching his creative process.

A True Eco Generation

Last but not least, Gen Z is the most environmentally aware generation ever. These young individuals are resolved to alter the narrative by doing what they do best since the building sector produces around 40% of greenhouse gas emissions.

To support change, people make sure their voices are heard, driving the building industry and the marketplaces for consumer goods to alter and include green practices and labels in their operations.

Companies all around the globe have recognized the need for this environmentally friendly adaptation. They are now recruiting specialists in natural and biomimetic architecture, like the Canadian Jamie Miller, who B+H engaged to assist the company in incorporating designs from nature into its projects.

Gen Z will be able to provide promising talents and values that will help the worldwide environment and the architectural profession, thanks to the fast growth of technology. There is little question that we will see a worldwide professional interchange, crossing the barriers between various nations and sectors, as this generation continues to develop and expand alongside software, hardware, new processes, and materials that we have yet to envision. They will catalyze an interchange of cultures that strives to benefit everybody.

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