Millennials are changing practice but not architecture itself

Mark Middleton, Grimshaw

The demands of the rising generation should be listened to – because they reflect what other staff want too

Architecture is a slow profession. It takes time to get qualified, it takes patience to accumulate the right experience to build career credibility and it takes perseverance to build buildings. There is little instant gratification in our business. Its satisfactions come from the long, hard road travelled to realise architecture.

I remember a college tutor advising me not to build anything until I was 40 because I wouldn’t know enough. Of course I didn’t take this daunting advice but what is clear is that patience is a virtue in our profession. If these are truisms, how will the profession be shaped by the next cohort of students and young architects – described collectively as millennials – who are pilloried for being impatient and requiring instant gratification? With millennials destined to make up more than 75% of the workforce by 2025 should we not be considering the ways in which our businesses and the glacial pace of our profession could be adapted to appeal to this new generation of architects?

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