An Architecture for Outcomes

T Connecting Indy Johar

Current models of urban change are failing to address the big and complex challenges we face in our cities. The marginalisation of urban disciplines like architecture and city planning when it comes to driving positive change is largely due to inherent limitations in the institutions that underpin urban development. But what if architects were contracted to deliver outcomes instead of buildings? What would be the implications of a contract for architectural services that linked fees to value generated for the client and the community instead of the cost of construction? How would this change the profession, its processes, and our cities in the long term? This project imagines how we may leverage recent advances in financing, design, data science, policy, regulation, and governance to structure the procurement of the build environment around the production of positive social outcomes. A new prototypical architect’s contract for outcomes can become a key component of this vision, driving a realignment of the incentives of the architectural profession with the needs of citizens and society at large. This could foster a fundamental transformation of the way we build (and rebuild) cities, with far-reaching effects on the profession, our environment, and our institutions.