As an architect, you design for the present, with the awareness of the past, for a future which is essentially unknown. – Norman Foster.
What role does architecture play as the world’s problems become more complex? It’s vital to understand how we shaped our cities and how in turn they changed us. We are now entering a new era of adaptability in architecture and urban planning, driven by technological advancements, growing environmental concerns, and sudden changes in how society functions as a result of the pandemic. Some issues and problems will only be solved by looking far into the future, particularly those that require solutions that have yet to be developed. Architects play an important role in this.
Buildings that generate more energy than they consume, urban biodiversity, weather-resistant designs, and migrating populations are all examples of emerging gradual change. Critical thinking will provide the forward trend required to regenerate our world while also making it more equitable and healthy. The following five factors contribute to the evolution of design: price, convenience, accessibility, affluence, and demands. When the economy changes, the design is subject to change. With our technology rapidly advancing, new mediums such as Virtual Reality, robotics, and artificial intelligence are all transforming the architectural profession.
For the global population, the pandemic has changed everything. Its impact has compelled people in every industry to adapt and evolve in real-time, with long-term consequences. Public spaces must be more adaptable in terms of physical engagement. Needless to say, the built environment will evolve, post-pandemic.
The field of 3D virtual design and engineering is rapidly growing. The architectural, engineering, and construction industries have already been transformed by virtual reality technology. There is an increasing desire to interact with objects in a variety of ways. Data extraction, movement within and around the building, visualization of the building are all evolving interactive requirements of the design/construction team. Future architects will be able to create amazing structures thanks to the use of large-scale 3D printers. VR and 3D printed construction, when combined, will significantly expand the boundaries of architecture and construction.
Smart cities design is a trend focusing on the future. Smart city development will enable architects to make better use of resources, reduce energy consumption, and build more efficient cities. Architects can create designs that will last a long time by focusing on the needs of the growing community. In terms of residential architecture, the concepts of interconnectivity and smart design will reshape the way living spaces are designed.
Architects need to understand the barriers that a diverse range of people face, to come up with solutions that benefit everyone. Inclusive architecture serves all communities, including the disabled, elderly, young, and everyone in between.
As space becomes more scarce, going vertical is becoming more popular. Architects are considering vertical cities as a solution to the diminishing livable space. Vertical cities and vertical farming are two solutions that may hold the key to solving our spatial problems.
Building information modeling (BIM) has emerged as a powerful tool for design and construction teams in recent years. As more technology enters the market and new use contexts for BIM are discovered, the potential for growth prospects in the architecture industry can be seen.
Another trending area in architecture is parametric design. The parametric architecture employs a geometric programming language that can be accessed directly through coding. It enables to completion of previously impossible tasks when using traditional 3D modeling software. We don’t build a building, but rather a shape governed by a set of parameters or constraints. It brings architecture closer to programming languages.
Climate change is one of the most serious global issues that exist today and will continue to exist unless we take action. The construction industry is one of the major contributors to rising levels of carbon emissions. The industry, on the other hand, is rapidly adopting changes in the direction of sustainability. LEED certification, for example, has been implemented in the majority of developed countries to ensure energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The futuristic visions include Biophilic designs, green buildings, growth, and innovation in sustainable materials for construction which will result in improved energy efficiency and waste management.
When considering how architecture will change over the next decade, we can see the growing role that technology will play. Technology has already become a requirement for the application of knowledge in all industries, including architecture. Building concepts designed today need extensive research to ensure future relevance. The machine age has provided new methods and a mindset of efficiency and dominance to suit the emerging world. The buildings of the future need to be designed for advanced technology, health and wellness, and high-performance solution while reducing energy use, increasing user comfort, and sourcing safer materials for the environment. There is a shared responsibility of architects and designers to build a reliable future.
- TMD Studios (2017). Emerging Trends That Will Shape the Future of Architecture. [online] Available at: https://medium.com/studiotmd/emerging-trends-that-will-shape-the-future-of-architecture-356ba3e7f910
- Think Architecture(2019). 5 Trends that could shape the future of architecture. [Online} Available at: https://www.thinkaec.com/5-trends-that-could-shape-the-future-of-architecture/