The future certainly looks very uncertain but where we were in the past and where we are today is a true reflection of where we would be in the future. As rightly said, design is cyclical – continuously pulling from the past, although as time goes by and the subsequent changes occur, design keeps evolving at the same time. If not entirely, the major element that is transforming the way design is perceived and executed is the underlying principle behind it since we, as humans are becoming more responsible towards our future.
The evolution of design today can also be looked at from various perspectives, as design cannot be just considered as one entity and is fragmented into various disciplines. The changes, which are generic and encompass all segments of design, are the ones that are the most essential to talk about, as they affect the future in more ways than just one. Sustainability is one such aspect that is the need of the hour and has now been well considered, by the likes of Architects, Urban Designer and Fashion Designers across the country. Be it a city, a building, or a small piece of clothing, sustainability is as essential as simply building and enhancing these elements by making them functional, aesthetic and pleasing. It is in fact, is the driving force behind all current major initiatives leading us to a well-planned future. The term ‘smart’ is another aspect of what lies ahead for us. Though smart seems to be a very simple phrase when heard at first, it is actually a complex term that leads to a much wider understanding of the issues in the present context and the needs of the future generations. Smart can be associated with clothing by claiming it to be made from recycled products or could be claimed so by making it through an environmental friendly process but on a macro scale, smart has been rapidly associated with components such as cities. Building technology-driven, efficient cities seems to be the way forward to address challenges such as urbanisation and globalisation in the world. These initiatives do not consider the exclusivity that would be brought along but nonetheless, are a part of the present process of design evolution.
The most important aspects that would possibly take over the world in the coming years, specifically in terms of design are the technological advances such as artificial intelligence and augmented reality. Augmented reality has already become a part of major research and design projects, for instance the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab research projects in the recent years and proved to be capable of bringing real differences to the built and natural environment, eventually moving towards a model of sustainable development.
An augmented reality view of a city, Andorra being used as an urban planning tool to transform it into an internationally recognized intelligent country. (Source: Ariel Noyman/MIT Media Lab)
The implications of these advances, as in the case of transforming Andorra into an intelligent country through augmented reality definitely look uncertain and complex but are equally exciting. The opportunities to explore in the process of design evolution are endless and therefore one can only imagine what design and it’s future holds for us.
Vidushi Agarwal, is an Architect and Urban Designer with a keen interest in urban regeneration and sustainable development. She believes research is as important as the design and is focused on being a part of major research projects in the future. She also loves to be curious about everything and exploring new places.