Social concerns are coming to the fore for young architects says Nick Ames

Social concerns coming to the fore as young architects seek to build in a way that changes people’s lives for the better

Elsewhere in this edition you can see an article about a round table discussion held by this magazine in association with Lacasa which focused on the relationship between universities teaching architecture and the region’s practices.

As well as this topic another subject came up – what students are inspired by when looking towards design.

And the panel sitting around the table seemed to agree on a generational shift – from tallest, biggest and most prestigious to those with some sort of social function. Notable were the amount of students who had entered a Lacasa competition to design a school.

Residential towers and hotels did not appear to be at the top of the list for young people – instead it was homes for the elderly, hospitals, schools and low-cost housing.

Architects are often accused of possessing egos – and that can’t really be denied. After all if you want to leave your stamp on a landscape you must feel you have something to offer.

Tradititionally that has been a huge tower, a massive mall or luxury hotel – all of which we have in abundance in this region. But a concern for designing projects which do not immediately dominate the skyline – and instead improve people’s lives – is another factor to show that architecture attracts a certain kind of person, one who has the welfare of others in his or her mind.