“As an architect, you design for the present, with an awareness of the past for a future which is essentially unknown.” -Norman Foster
The famous quote by Norman Foster implicitly hints at an understanding of the past to build in the future. What lies post to a past, is the realization, the correction of mistakes.
The massive solid architecture of the past, where man’s power over nature is visible, the architecture of the future may be a complete U-Turn. A turn to correct the mistake of developing over the environment instead of with it, a turn to not harm, but to bless.A turn to use technology more carefully.
While on one side sustainability talks about the judicious use of resources and decisions thinking for the future needs, productive architecture on the other hand is a step ahead and focuses on producing through architecture. It refers to producing cleaner air, food, water, etc. It minimizes external dependence on non-renewable resources and additionally gives back more to the environment through cyclic loops and renewable resources.
Productive architecture is a new movement that seeks to deliver human, economic, and environmental benefits that promote health, happiness, and inspiration. It ensures that it produces energy and does not pollute the environment with its processes.
Some Principles of Productive Architecture
- Limit your demands
- Focus on the R chain-Refuse, Reuse, Recycle
- More than completing the loops, storing the extra energy for external use
The way we build our buildings today is no different from what we did years ago. Buildings have become massive chunks of masses and interesting forms, which either do not or adversely interact with the surrounding environment.
Future Architecture shall be a reversal of this. What if the buildings could be natural and could grow out of nature and be friends with it.
Animal habitats are an inspiration for this kind of natural and liveable architecture, and this in the future may be replicated at the scale and size of human needs of living.
Prostruction is a new age concept looking at materials that are natural, light and are found to be stronger than the man-made materials used conventionally. This technique looks at the ability of several materials found in nature, which help produce light, absorb toxic gases, etc.
Prostruction is opposite to construction and can help in:
- Lighter materials provide greater strength to weight ratio and reduced costs for transportation, etc.
- Reducing energy needs
- Absorption of Carbon Dioxide gases.
Grow, Regenerate and Breathe; the buildings of tomorrow
Mobility and Flexibility
With foundations disturbing the water tables and taking the hold of the land, most forests of the world have changed into concrete jungles. The green to blue ratio of the world map has changed drastically disturbing the environment and resulting in climate change. The architecture of tomorrow hence might become more flexible, having an ability to adapt and respond and move.
The tiny house movement of the west stands as an example of minimalist living and traditional off-grid solutions for waste management and electricity generation. The tiny houses, mostly based on shipping containers, move on trailers acting both as a home and a vehicle and drastically reduce the amount of space required by the people.
This mobile nature of architecture helps free up the land to breathe and stay natural.
With the booming population and current construction rate, land as a resource to build has been exploited. Hence the housing crisis in many parts of the world has become an issue. As the technology and ambitions shall grow, the architecture might move from just land to other alternatives like water, underground, underwater, air, and maybe other planets too. This shall, however, ensure that these alternatives do not overplay with laws of nature, and the systems may be mobile and not permanent.
Technology is a boon that cannot be ignored when talking about the future especially. A lot of smart systems have already emerged at every scale of architecture, from energy systems to services and appliances. We have moved from the age of hand drafting to BIM, Building Information Modelling, helping provide working solutions before time.
Materials and construction techniques have changed too.
The world is growing continuously at a faster pace than ever before, solutions like wiki houses and 3D printing of structures have been remarkable and broken the boundaries of conventional architecture.
Such smart systems shall continue to grow, and AR, VR, holograms architecture bots, and more unimaginable things shall take hold tomorrow in the world of architecture and visualization.
The best way to correct a mistake is to make it right. The architecture of the future might be a realization of the current long-term problems!