With the population blast around the world, expeditious globalization, booming and swelling economies, unfathomable competition, and daily emerging trends, the ability to peek into the future seems like an aiding idea. The world is not constant, so is architecture. It changes rapidly with every passing day. 

Every state-of-the-art trend that we look at keeps getting twiddled with unorthodox, creative, experimental, ultra-modernist, or newfangled advancements until it emerges as an unprecedented trend. The statement again makes architects around the globe ponder, what does the future hold for architecture? 

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Shanghai, China_©GENSLER

Brilliant minds of the world are envisioning and working towards a future where humans could habituate Mars, but let us not forget that our planet has huge problems here and now that need resolving as the farther tomorrow will be a subset of this present.

Today’s architecture is going through a global crisis inclusive of both social and environmental problems. An architect in this situation has to rethink how to engage with multiple disciplines and what is the meaning of the authorship of the profession when we lose it, why we do not want to lose it and how we can get out of our clothes and be the kind of individuals in society. 

The construction industry has undergone significant changes in the last two decades, paving the way for a future in which traditional spatial concepts are no longer valid. Standing still will never be the solution. The main point for architecture is to rethink changing growth, changing economies, transformations, and to locate a position in this very slippery condition. To do so, architects need to redress some vital questions.

How do we Verify the Presence of the Architecture of Lang Syne in this Day and Age? | Architecture of the Future

As we can see from the structures that still stand today, architecture has always been implied to meet a need in the past and present. The struggle remains towards what the society wants until it is distinguished. Several driving influences helped influence the architecture of every nation or people in the past, and the architectural results of the past were more or less an outcome of those forces. 

The forces include geography, geology, climate, religion, social and political trends, and history. It is crucial to figure out who has the authority to decide what is deserving of historical architecture and how to interpret it in a way that reconciles the essence of the past with the mood of today! 

Great buildings adapt to modern times, not necessarily following the architect’s vision. Today’s architecture will combine past lessons with cutting-edge construction technology, structures, and processes, but a successful design approach, tailored to the local environment, would be timeless, independent of aesthetic language or building codes.

How will the Architecture of the Future be? 

Resilience, sensitive response, and inclusion would be the key concepts of architecture. Even the traditional business model of architecture will be different. With the development of AT(artificial intelligence), we’ll witness advanced software that will propose units based on our basic inputs! The role of the architect will still be crucial although in a different way. Architecture is now in a paradigm shift. 

Today architecture cannot just be a beautiful object. It must be a bridge for relationships, not only between people but also between people and the world. When Ricardo Rozzi mentions a triad that can be integrated into the architecture, Habitats-Habits-Inhabitants, the basis of cohabitation, his insights become quite significant. 

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Future Skyline of Miami_Future Architecture Trends – Materials, Design, and Future Cities (architecturequote.com)

What kind of Image does the Future hold for us?

a. Technological Advancements

All indications point to a future where architecture will move towards greater technological sophistication in the pursuit of material comfort. The aim remains the same: to make people’s lives simpler and less physically restricted by promoting movement. A frequent example is the automatic opening of supermarket doors as we walk through with our arms laden with groceries: technology to the service of man. 

Technology can help us experience a design even before it has been constructed. In the future, we won’t just be able to design a space in three-dimension but also analyze it for its impact on the surrounding environment. This virtual reality has also leaped towards 3D printing. This would enable printing and erect structures quickly that would also be cost-efficient and further eliminate the limits of design.

b. Sustainability, Subsisting Mundane Character, or a Spin-off of a Sci-Fi movie?

The above aspects put many architects to delve into what the future buildings to like. From castles, forts, and religious places glorified with stone and wood as materials, magnificent proportions, and avant-garde ornamentation enriched to the local character; to commercial buildings, tiny apartments, and condos standing on a brick, concrete, steel, and glass, with taller structures, and similar character all around the world, architecture has constantly been merging and emerging. Will the future transport us to a world full of concrete and metal or will it shed more light on the environment (or as eagerly termed- sustainability). 

Sustainable architecture aims to design buildings that are practical today but have a low environmental impact and use little energy in the future to benefit future generations. Its execution has taken off since the past decade with the growing awareness for climate change and many architects have and dream of stepping in to execute the same. 

A great example is the Tao Zhu Yin Yuan or Agora Garden Building in Taipei that puts a twist on futuristic design while battling urban smog. The plants growing around the 90-degree double helix will absorb 130 tons of CO2 emissions each year. Plus, the building utilizes rainwater recycling. With its innovation, this building stands as a testimony to a future of biophilic architecture that also helps reduce the greenhouse effect.

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The Tao Zhu Yin Yuan or Agora Garden Building in Taipei_ TAO ZHU YIN YUAN – Vincent Callebaut Architectures

But hold on. This does not stop many architects from designing buildings that are both sustainable and give a feel of being extra-terrestrial and earthly. With our planet being geared into finding an abode on Mars, some architects might also believe in making our buildings more universal(astronomically this time). 

So, there is afat chance that we might also find such structures like The Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts with its construction underway in Los Angeles, USA, and the Dutch Windwheel in Rotterdam. The adaption of biomimicry into a wilful free-standing structure is an excellent peephole into the expectant future. 

Even the smart city concept might extend to the building up of floating parking to encourage more street movement and life and reduce accidents with all the flying cars(at least on the ground).

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The Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts in Los Angeles, USA_George Lucas’ LA museum on track for late-2021 completion (newatlas.com)
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The Dutch Windwheel, Rotterdam_The Dutch Windwheel is not only a silent wind turbine – it’s also an incredible circular apartment building (inhabitat.com)

How would the Psychology and Sociology factors reform? | Architecture of the Future

The standards sought in Rome for a plaza to function are similar to those used in contemporary town planning, just as the layout of shops in ancient Greece is similar to what one sees today in North African Souks. Today’s architectural solutions to a variety of spatial issues are similar to those of the past. Also, there is an undefined link between the ebullience of space and our moods, claustrophobia and underground spaces, noise in certain spaces and the stress levels we feel there and so much more. 

Even the paradigm of universal design is becoming more applicable. This knowledge is very beneficial for architects. We consider these factors to be important since we consider architecture not as a visual object but as the surroundings of life in which the person is completely involved. One of the major goals of the architect of the future is to create quality specifications alongside conventional technical specifications, to qualify the colors made on walls, the gradations of bright or opaline light, sound quality in spaces, tactile qualities of textures, or thermal ambiance, and so on.

The two major tendencies of futuristic architecture, seemingly contradictory, prove to be complementary in reality. The trend to provide more sophisticated technology also wants it to be less present. As much as possible is hidden from view, under the plaster, in the floor, thinner circuits, and other facilities like infrared information transmission, and vocal commands are invisible. We are left with naked space. How does one feel in a smooth cube, clean and colorless, where temperature, humidity, and ventilation are constantly controlled? 

Further with this fresh experience of a pandemic from which half the globe is still suffering, the need for a more connected design becomes paramount. For this space to liberate us instead of imprisoning us, it needs to be ambitious, to have a theme, to shelter, to stimulate, to move, to embrace.

The buildings of the future would be taller, use more sustainable materials, and have smaller spaces. The boundaries that architects must work under will be dictated by population growth and the significance of environmental effects. Many major thinkers and architectural pioneers are thinking about all of these phenomena and are now using cutting-edge approaches and dreaming of the future. 

Only time will tell which patterns will last and which will fade, but one thing is certain: Only time will tell which patterns will last and which will fade, but one thing is certain: we will need to construct smarter. Architects will have to consider learning more about these new developments if they want to unlock the key to a sustainable future that will last for generations. 

All of the latest technologies available to architects would alter the appearance of buildings and the speed at which they are constructed. The future of architecture seems quintessential, exhilarating, and full of hope.

Unrealistic architecture_©Archdaily

An architecture student who is a besotted reader and believes that writing is for the soul. She is always receptive and surmises that learning is growing which is fuelled by her fascinated for history, travel, architecture and literature.