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New Zealand Institute of Architects









Q&A: Sandra Barclay

Sandra Barclay of Barclay & Crousse answers five questions ahead of her visit alongside partner Jean Pierre Crousse to Aotearoa New Zealand for in:situ 2024.

1. What are the biggest challenges facing architects and their work?

To be still relevant in the construction process, to remain the one who has a vision, embraces many variables and knows how to combine them in an innovative and unexpected way. This challenge can be tackled by education to emphasise architecture as a cultural and local entity, adapting to people and to the available resources, rather than just a technical phenomenon.

Paracas Museum. Paracas, Peru. 2012. Photo: Cristobal Palma.

2. How has architecture changed in the time you’ve been practising?

In the design process we have gone from a way of doing (and thinking) about architecture through hand drawing and hand models to computer-assisted design and virtual modelling. What varies is the time you take thinking while drawing or building a model by hand, versus the immediate precisions demanded by the computer.

3. How do you see it changing in the future?

On the one hand, artificial intelligence is going to change the way architecture is done in ways that we can't predict. On the other hand, there is a great opportunity to transform construction processes to be kinder to the environment.

University Facilities, The University of Piura. Piura, Peru, 2016. Photo: Cristobal Palma.

4. How does sustainability influence the way you design buildings?

It is at the core of our concerns. We are focussed on a sustainability that is achieved with appropriate responses to the environments, without necessarily solving it through technology.

5. What’s the one building you wish you had designed?

The next one…

Barclay & Crousse are international keynote speakers at in:situ on Wednesday 21 February 2024. 

Barclay & Crousse’s keynote speech is proudly sponsored by Moddex.

Book now.