Leaders’ Insights From the Stragegic Foresight Survey 2016-2017

Each year DesignIntelligence surveys a select panel of leaders from architecture, engineering and construction about key trends in the practice and business of architecture, design and real estate. Survey respondents were asked to assess the future landscape of markets and professional practice as well as the operations and financial management of firms.

The survey leads with the panel’s overall assessment of the opportunities and risks facing the design professions.

Overall, are you more optimistic or pessimistic about the outlook for architects and designers than you were last year (2015)?

Leaders’ Insights: Why?

“We continue to see growth and a healthy backlog/pipeline in our work. People are cautious and careful, and that is a good sign.”

“The culture of design is changing with new technology that will help building performance and modeling design. The economy will remain fat and interest rates low, 2.5 percent growth.”

“There is a growing appreciation for the importance of design in and throughout the general public.”

“The culture of architects is embracing change and change is prevalent, occurring rapidly and is pervasive — recent changes to allow licensure upon graduation is a great example of attitudinal change.”

“(I am optimistic) because the opportunities for architecture outside architecture are growing (through) hybrid consultancies.”

“There’s no future in pessimism.”

“We are seeing a greater integration of disciplines that is bringing a broader perspective and enhanced opportunities for innovation.”

“We do not have a choice; architects are uniquely trained to solve problems at all scales and with the world changing as rapidly as it is are essential to solving some of the most pressing issues.”

“Overall economic outlook seems to indicate solid business opportunities at least over the next year or two.”

“Projects are much more complex and hence opportunities to raise the bar and differentiate clearly exists. The megatrends that influence our space creates opportunities like never before.”

“We see stable growth for the coming three years. Gradual growth will allow us to focus on quality and innovation, along with management. Too much growth or contraction are both difficult dynamics in which to improve quality and innovation.”

“There is an increasing appreciation that good design underlies more productive and prosperous cities. In this context, design strategy and business strategy are synergistic.”

“While there continue to be some storm clouds on the horizon, our backlog is strong and new opportunities are flooding in.”

“Domestically things seem to have momentum, but global uncertainty, especially with China, tempers my optimism.”

“More opportunity in most every sector along with rising consumer confidence point to a more optimistic view. And that is really saying something since last year was our best year ever!”

Other key topics and questions from the survey:

  • Emerging technologies in design and construction
  • Greatest market opportunites by industry, professional discipline, service area and geographic region
  • Changes in the roles and process in design and delivery
  • Leadership and ownership transition in firms

The full 2016-2017 Strategic Foresight Report is available in the online DesignIntelligence Bookstore