Let us go back to the 1500s, back to a time where walking down your typical European street would have you faced with massive, breath-taking structures, ones that borrowed from the old Classical styles but started a whole new era of architecture due to their impressive and extremely efficient building methods. 

Fast forward many years to the late 1700s, the peak of the industrial revolution where technology had improved greatly, with the architecture reflecting this in terms of its materials and styles. This technological advancement made architecture reach a new high, making buildings much easier to build while making them more sustainable, durable, and cost-efficient

Fast forward some more to the present day, where technology is at its peak, where architecture is becoming more and more unique, while also becoming more sustainable and eco-friendly.

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Future Prospects, Architecture of the Industrial Revolution – The Crystal Palace, Joseph Paxton_©https://blog.inoxstyle.com/instyleblog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/A.jpg

Connecting the Past and Future | Future Prospects

Taking a trip down the past of architecture puts into perspective that technology is one of the clear driving forces of architecture. With technological development came architectural development and the possibility of this trend continuing seems highly likely. With technology reaching unforeseen heights and with its influence rising exponentially, it would not be a stretch to say that the prospect of technology catching up to the concepts presented in science fiction novels is very positive.

The field of architecture taking a more sustainable route in the future is almost inevitable. With more focus being given to environmentally friendly buildings, it doesn’t take much to imagine that the future of the building will be more sustainable. Putting this together with the unstoppable train of technological development the world is riding on now, I believe it would not be a stretch to say that the level of architecture could possibly parallel what we see and hear of in science fiction books and movies.

There have been many forms of the futuristic architecture depicted in existing science fiction novels which depend highly on technology and present characteristic futuristic idea. Some classic examples would be the spaceships in the Star Wars franchise – the Death Star and the Millennium Falcon, the Districts in the Hunger Games franchise, and the Enterprise from the Star Trek franchise.

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Future Prospects, The Millennium Falcon, Star Wars_©https://img.cinemablend.com/filter:scale/cb/7/e/d/9/7/b/7ed97b4973c026af6b10fc048f9674dab23f029f0686ba49fa7588c3afb4262c.jpg?mw=600

The Impact of Technology

There are, however, a great many who believe that this rise of technology and the dependence of architecture on it could be very detrimental. The debate on whether technology and the development of the interweb is a bane or a boon has been ongoing for generations together and will seemingly go on for generations to come. 

Several people would vouch for either side, but a significantly increasing number will vouch for both. This can be answered by giving the situation the very basic idea of blame, not the tool, but the workman. For many of today’s global citizens, it’s about understanding the balance in making use of technology to engage in new connections, but also knowing when to switch off and tune into reality.

Assuming that things continue to go the way they are, with technological developments running way ahead of humans, so much so that we struggle to keep up with it, I think we as a society need to start accepting the fact that just because human interaction is not in person, that does not make the experience any less enriching. In fact, it even helps certain people who find physical interactions difficult. 

Of course, it does have its downsides, but that can be said of physical interactions as well. I hypothesize that in the future, the reach of technology extends even further – it does beyond just being behind a screen and starts edging into the level of the mind. 

Even today, there are some forms of technology that hover around this idea of the mind. It would have to be extremely thought out, keeping personal things personal and only conveying the interactions the person in question wants to have. The same philosophy can be translated to the field of architecture.

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The Future of Architecture | Future Prospects

I envision a future in which architecture will reach a pedestal where buildings incorporate this idea of sentience, where spaces and forms have a sliver of the concept of a conscience. A world where structures can travel through time and space, can appear and disappear, and will or can be perceived only by certain people and at certain times.

Although these ideas seem a little far-fetched and difficult to comprehend and seem extremely other-worldly, we must remember that the power of technology and its ability to grow should never be underestimated. A lot of the technology we have today would have never been comprehended a couple of decades ago and might have seemed to be out of a science fiction novel. 

Even though we cannot say anything for sure, nothing should stop us from believing and letting our imagination run wild when it comes to envisioning the future of architecture and keeping in mind the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams”.


Priyesha is currently a student at RV College of Architecture, Bengaluru. An avid reader with a passion for travelling, she also has a background in public speaking, debating, creative writing and music. She aims to find a good balance between these personal interests and her academic interest in architecture.