Technical debt: Architecture’s ticking time bomb

Every architecture office has that one project that has gone (or is going) horribly wrong. Deadlines are not being met. Staff are leaving en mass. And the organisation is hemorrhaging money. Much like Volermort’s ‘He who should not be named’ tag, everyone knows which project they are referring to, and no one wants to be a part of it. Somewhat reassuringly, this phenomenon is not isolated to a single architecture practice. Depressingly, however, is that it is systemic across the industry. Given its non-discriminatory nature, the root cause must extend beyond geographic location, building typology, or design intent. This post proposes that at its core, much of the issue derives from ‘Technical debt’. That is, how shortcuts taken today to hit a deadline means more work tomorrow. Technical debt is architecture’s ticking time bomb – one that must be diffused before it is too late.

A familiar story

Consider the following thought experiment through the lens of…

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