”It’s an elegant mix of entrepreneurship, public education and activism.” This is how Joakim Kaminsky describes the role of the architect. He is fascinated by how the profession is constantly changing and developing. Looking back in time, a lot has definitely happened. Sustainability and recycling are now natural elements of Joakim’s role as an architect.
Joakim describes how he was interested in sustainability even before architecture came into his world, but he now views his profession as an opportunity to have an impact. ”We have problems that need to be solved, it’s then natural to apply this to one’s professional life,” says Joakim. When he describes how it all began, there’s no doubt that this is something he’s passionate about. It all started when Kaminsky Arkitektur developed a sustainability vison for the city of Gothenburg. This gave the firm a name, since then they have been an ambitious leading player in driving sustainability work. Kaminsky Arkitektur is also active in various research projects and networks, to get involved with others in building awareness. The transition to a more sustainable society can’t take place automatically. The bottom line is that everyone must join the sustainability journey, since it can’t just be an interest for some and not for others.
It’s a constant race against time. Yet society is moving towards an awareness we haven’t seen before. Consumers are more comfortable with reusing, recycling and repairing. And we don’t always have to buy new things. ”We’re going to see more combinations of new and old material,” says Joakim. ”As a company, we’ll have to describe where different elements come from, show what has been recycled, and turn this into a story”. This can be a business advantage, and a new way of creating value. Joakim also believes it can be expensive not to hop onto the sustainability train in time, as consumer awareness grows and more sustainable consumption wins ground. Actual product design will be an important issue in the future. For products to be viable in the long term, it’s necessary to turn the spotlight on function, space and sustainability, rather than adopting random trends. ”I still think that contemporaneity and trends are an additional layer on top of design,” says Joakim.
Looking at the architecture that has dominated for quite some time now, we can see that it has been highly individualistic. Joakim describes his thoughts on the future of architecture. ”I think it will be even more important to be a team player, instead.” He describes the importance of connecting with one’s surroundings and mentions a really unique project, Knytkalaset, a new housing development project, in Sege Park, east of Malmö. This is a special project in which Joakim has taken an interest for quite some time. The project focuses on the sharing economy and community spaces for residents. ”The starting point was Sege Park as it is today, with attractive buildings, colours and the weathered old brickwork,” says Joakim. Knytkalaset merges with its surroundings in a whole new way that takes account of the park’s history and the surrounding nature area. Joakim describes how the biggest challenge with Knytkalaset was turning the idea into reality. ”Does the family we imagined really exist, and would they be happy to live according to this concept?” Read more about the Knytkalaset concept in the next article.