James Law JP is an architect known for his ultra-modern one of a kind philosophy of Cybertecture. The founder of the Hong Kong-based firm James Law Cybertecture, his ideology uses futuristic designs and high-level technology to make the living conditions of society better. The projects cover a vast expanse of fields like architecture, interiors, planning, strategic architecture as well as product design. In 2000, he devised the term ‘Cybertecture’ without knowing how it would blow up a few years down the line. 

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James Law ©James Law Cybertecture

The Inspiration

When asked what motivated him to take up improving social causes through his designs, James Law had an inspiring answer. He talked about his journey of self-realization after going through a down that made him see the impact that could be brought to people’s lives through meaningful architecture. He finally realized that what he meant to do was far greater than what he was presently doing. Cybertecture did not remain just a philosophy that was integrated into the architecture of the established sense. It became one that was not narrowed down to just the building form but also incorporated in other aspects of space, art, and technology. Having various approaches rather than using philosophy for a single purpose was a firm belief. James Law’s ideology did not restrict architecture to the conventional forms of concrete and steel. It leaps ahead by using the materials of technology and intelligence. 

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One BKC, Mumbai ©James Law Cybertecture

Technology in Design

Excessive use of technology in philosophy has often raised eyebrows but James Law puts all the speculation to rest with a unique explanation. According to him, humans have been living off of technology in the form of giving and taking from the environment. Confining the aspect of technology to just a digital device would be limiting our thoughts. Essentially, we have always relied on nature’s technology for survival and are surrounded by it all around us. To say that the over the top use of all types of technological advancements is careless would be wrong. We need to reassess our thoughts regarding the use of technology around us and whether we should be relying on a single type too much. In today’s climate, the architecture of huge buildings heavily depends on HVAC systems. The approach should instead be to use technology to generate green sustainable building designs. James Law believes that his buildings are designed in a way that they can communicate with its users. 

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Sky Gardens – a green residential building in Abu Dhabi ©James Law Cybertecture

Acceptance by The People

This next-generation innovative philosophy is ultra-modern for users as well. Being this new, it would face friction from the people. Hence it was a Herculean task to make the users understand the product. The modernity had to be accepted by a substantial group of people involved to produce an outcome. The construction industry, set in its ways, had to be educated about the many merits of innovating and doing things the new-way. Architect James Law had to make them understand how these new outstanding ideas would ultimately have a greater impact than the conventional methods. He had to walk them through the ground-breaking thoughts put into the design. It would not only last while the project lasted but also help them in learning new strategies that could later be useful. 

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Aluminium Pod house in Hong Kong ©James Law Cybertecture

The Holistic Approach

James Law’s design philosophy aims to be ‘holistic to the overall user environment’ It emphasizes the fact that most of the design concepts cater to the needs of the people and people only. Therefore Cybertecture strives to integrate all key elements like nature, water, sun as well as humans in its designs. The buildings are smart enough to take care of their health, use sensors to keep tabs on the energy use, and modify systems accordingly and hence create a powerful environment to empower people to live and work. In one of their massive projects, ‘Technosphere’, they have imitated the different processes occurring in nature to make an all-inclusive design for the people’s comfort, water usage, the growth of plants, and energy recycling. In this way, the building gives back to the environment. 

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Technosphere – a mixed-use development in Dubai ©James Law Cybertecture

Merging Tech With Objects

Another key aim of the architect is to ‘innovate the fabric of mankind’ In a very eccentric approach to design, James law takes up inanimate objects of everyday use, combines them with technology to get a colossal result, and an empowering design. One of the best examples of this is the innovation of the Cybertecture Mirror. A mirror is one of the most used daily inescapable objects. This object was blended with technology to form a unique reflective surface which displayed interactive information about the well being of a human. With customizable applications and keeping track of one’s weight or the weather, Cybertecture Mirror is the flagship invention of James Law. 

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Cybertecture Mirror ©James Law Cybertecture

Sustainability

Talking about sustainability, architect James Law remarked how it has become an elusive concept in today’s context. The present-day discussion about sustainability often involves the issues faced by our planet and how to resolve them. However, Cybertecture sees it in a different light. It emphasizes the term called ‘human sustainability’  wherein the designs help humans in gaining knowledge and being in balance with their nearby environment. Cybertecture Mirror is one such example of incorporating human sustainability in its design.

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The Capital, Mumbai ©James Law Cybertecture
Kriti Shah
Author

Kriti Shah is a student of architecture with a keen interest in writing. When she’s not involved in college submissions,she can be seen reading about travel, design, art and popular culture. An eager travel-buff, she plans to sail across the oceans and write about her adventures

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