It’s increasingly a small world, but with huge opportunities in design. Improvements in information technology, product manufacturing, shipping and transportation, pre-fabrication, off-site assembly of complex components, and the ability to work in a 24-7 environment essentially mean that traditional political borders are no longer a factor in design and construction. From cars to clothing, this phenomenon has already changed the way we get our goods – so why not buildings as well? Basically, this means that all firms have the potential to practice globally – and that global firms can practice locally. The result will be greatly increased competition and downward pressure on fees, but at the same time, there will be a big premium paid for “branded” firms – those that provide highly special services and can convince the market that they have a unique value proposition. The urbanization trend along with globalization opens up new categorical space for design organizations to be relevant. For more information read The Next Architect: A New Twist on the Future of Design.

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