- Article by Tili Bensley-Nettheim
Created by Berlin-based Brazilian architect Daniel da Rocha, the Remote Architects Club is a forum for architects to share their remote working strategies and support one another as they decamp their offices.
Long before the COVID-19 pandemic, Rocha had been interested in the unlocked potential of the architecture profession to move to remote work scenarios.
“As I firmly believe in the benefits of knowledge sharing and a sense of community for one’s professional development, I have always felt architecture lacking,” he says.
“As a creative profession, we do surprisingly little sharing. There is a lot of secrecy and siloed knowledge and a ‘retreating process’ that starts right after school.”
While many professions had been moving toward remote arrangements, Rocha saw a stubbornness within architecture, citing a lack of dedicated tools that allow essential parts of the creative process of architecture to happen remotely.
Model making, material sampling and joint design sessions all benefit from physical co-presence.
“However, what we tend to forget is that creative work also benefits from deep work, periods of uninterrupted, focused work that only happens when we are left alone,” says Rocha.
“Some people can achieve this in an open office, but many would benefit from having the possibility of doing it on their own terms.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic began escalating, architects scrambled to decamp their offices and Rocha saw the opportunity to finally answer the questions: Can architects work remotely? And what parts of the profession benefit from remote working?
The Remote Architects Club takes these questions directly to those currently practicing from home, offering them a space to share the challenges and benefits as well as form a professional community across practices and regions.
“If, after this, nothing changes, we would have wasted an enormous opportunity to make things change,” says Rocha.
“I hope this period puts a lot of questions in architects’ heads: Can we reduce our overhead? Can we tap into a worldwide talent pool? Can we collaborate with other offices around the world? Can we spend more time with our families? Can we make our employees happier?”