ITARC 2021

Last year we looked at the future of architecture – this year we will ask what kind of architect you want to be in the future.

For the fourteenth year in a row, on October 18-19 2021, we will host ITARC – A conference for IT architects.

Architecture today is a patchwork of ideas, formed across decades with underlying assumptions often hidden or obscured, or buried deep in the past. Fads and trends compete with vendor marketing for attention, academia is largely absent from the development of new approaches, and scientific rigor is seldom present . There is still no agreement on what architecture or an architect actually is.

The patchwork of ideas and lack of formalism creates the Rorschach architect: each and every architect is free to see their own vision in the mess of frameworks and ideas that is the current state of the profession. Despite having spent several decades on this problem we still offer architects nothing more than the same blotted Rorschach picture and implicitly ask them to become whatever they see.

The way to solve this is not through certification, MBA’s, or standardization. The way to solve this is to make sure that every architect is capable of understanding that this is happening and making sure that they have the tools to navigate this.

This year’s conference will focus on presenting cutting edge ideas, forcing attendees to constantly reflect about where these ideas fit or don’t fit with their own personal view of architecture. This year’s conference asks architects to think about where they’ve been, where they want to go, and how they are going to get there. Rather than arguing for one particular approach or methodology, architects should be agnostic, capable of assessing different ways of solving problems and acting on these assessments, aware of many methodologies and capable of choosing different approaches for different problems.

The Rorschach architect* is something to be embraced, not reduced, restricted, or standardized to fit in a certain box – but the architect should be capable of seeing many different things in every image, not just their favorite framework or approach.


*The concept Rorschach architect is inspired by Black Tulip’s research about complexity.