Appropriated from not only the terminology but mostly from the design thinking methodology, the use of the expression “architectural thinking” is the clear representation of the contemporary blind spot on roles we must recognise in architecture.

Architects have a natural narcissistic tendency to claim the invention of urban environments, technical achievements and the singularity of cultural expressions. It’s a modus of originality, that originates from the prevalent dogmatic view of the world, dictated by an absurd erudition on western history. It is perfectly clear that architecture is an instrument of power and that architects are subdued by ego in the complacent expression of an endemic modernism. Politically and socially we can recognise the modus from the status. We need only to look around us.

Design, and thinking are not what architects are stealing. They are trying to mimic the methodological system that creates the humanised world itself and that designers of all sorts have long practiced. Designers are almost staminal beings that operate in different areas, mediums and times. Architecture is trying to renovate the lexicon by keeping the syntax untouched hoping to enhance a decadent grammar.

Design thinking is an empathic communion of solidarity with resources, knowledge, intentions and responsibility. This autonomous view of the world can effectively transform nature, tradition and technology into a prosperous system between humans and non-humans as a balanced community based system.

Architecture is continuously trying to validate itself in the next theological movement. Currently it is completely overwhelmed by resource extraction, capitalism and social inequality and thinks the answer could be the appropriation of an idea that is much more powerful and evolved than a mere concept. Architects, and other professionals in the AEC world are not prepared for the power of methodological systems on thinking and design.

Perhaps as a last resort on survival, the discipline is struggling to find better ways to deflect obsoletion but this is not design thinking and, therefore it will not prevail. AI, the contemporary values of our society and all capitalist politics are the executioners of a discipline that as a rule, lacks the engagement with the world it believes is building from scratch. The exceptions don’t have enough of an impact on ideology and will collapse inside their area in a rubble of mediums and in their own time.

Architecture needs to be put on the side lanes if progress to humble itself, but the egos are already out of control and disproportionate to even a possibility of repair. Architects are emotionally out of control to even recognise the systemic trauma their profession produces through them on them and others, not only architects. They are verbal, obnoxious and irritating and as signs of unbalanced trauma they refuse to ask for help. Instead they steal.

On the other hand, design is almost anonymous, present and available even when it is being allegedly robbed by everybody, not only architects. Design can prevail on good, positive energy while architecture relies on crisis and catastrophe as catalysts for innovation. This is a fundamental difference between the magnanimity of design and the despair of architecture.

Design thinking is an elegant, sustained and robust system, based on multimodal practices, that rely on inter dependency and confluent interactions and improvements, constructively and positively divergent.

Architecture could learn from that.