After the crash of the markets, people are reassessing the meaning of ‘value’. Today’s radical technological, economic, cultural, ecological and social shifts are transforming the role of design and architecture in society. From an urban perspective, this translates to correcting the imbalance of our cities whose systems have become linear and disconnected, and closing loops to create equity for all citizens. People are becoming creators of their own environment, increasingly self-organised and empowered by community platforms. Sustainability is seen as an intrinsic aspect of good design rather than an add on. The built environment becomes part of the solution, and not only the problem. The architect plays a powerful role in mediating this process – and creates real, lasting value.
MKA’s design approach is always based on a careful analysis of people’s rituals and dreams, in space and time. By identifying personal values and connecting them to ‘the design potential’ of the site and context of a project, MKA designs inspire a new way of life. By using a magnified perspective on the context, user-space and detailing of a project and deeply engaging in a dialogue with the clients, architecture can add value, beauty and meaning to a project. This results in desirable spaces that are integrated in their surrounding, produce their own energy, work well and most important are loved and cared for by their users, thus extending their life span.
MKA believes in the idea of the ‘new architect’ as a product designer, developing, testing and optimising ‘his own’ (modular) building systems and material details and building evolutionary models and prototypes. MKA increasingly develops ‘open frameworks’: modular building systems whose interiors and facades can be flexibly adapted to a personal user interface, and changes in use over time (extending a buildings lifespan) integrating materials that can be easily reused or recycled. Using state of the art BIM software MKA optimizes the design process, saving costs and reducing production risks, making architecture affordable to larger groups of users.
MKA believes in the power of ‘design thinking’ to raise open questions and find integrated solutions for tomorrows challenges. By integrating the disciplines of branding, product & interior design, architecture, engineering and project development in one organisation and collaborating with a diverse network of consultants and preferred partners, MKA can provide an almost holistic approach to many design questions.
MKA believes in the power of collaboration. This approach has made MKA a driving force behind emerging professional networks such as Superlofts, De Hoofden and Beleef Buiksloterham whose members collaboratively instigate cooperative urban developments and housing communities. The role of the architect thus shifts to that of initiator and mediator, an active entrepreneur who builds user-communities and collaborative networks to crowd-fund his self-initiated and co-created building innovations. MKA thus connects people, money, places and design opportunities to push a more integrated and sustainable urban environment.