The Future of Architecture
“Architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness”.
As the world of technology is progressing, there is a new tool emerging to enhance the work efficiency we are into every day. Some of these can just turn the landscape upside down!
Over the past two decades, the field of architecture and design has become all the more efficient, powerful and productive. There has been a paradigm shift from the times of manual drafting and heavy constructions to computer-based BIM (Building Information Modelling) software to the 3D printing technologies and lightweight, pre-cast construction systems. This evolution has paved the way for innovative, interactive and energy-efficient design concepts. It is time now when Artificial Intelligence would take over some of the tedious man-made tasks, with great efficiency and rate of productivity at minimum time and expenses.
Today, there is a nature-driven approach to design and construction. The importance of sustainability, green infrastructure, consumption and production of energy during the process of construction has gained focus. Technology has accelerated at an incredible pace in the field of design. Soon, they will turn into ‘necessities’ without which an architect/designer might not be able to convey the final product to the users. Architecture may even disappear, and the role of architects would be very different to how it is perceived today. Specialists from the fields of environmental sciences, high-tech engineering, social anthropology, topographical conservation and research and digital expertise are more likely to be an integral part of design studios. Architecture would turn out to be an active and passionate collaboration with leaders from different fields coming together to bring up creative and innovative design concepts and structures. Yet, with all of this, our culture and traditions shall not take a back seat. Our history would be analyzed and understood in a deeper sense, inspiring architects to create masterpieces and reach greater heights. They would bring out the true spirits of our heritage by aspiring designers to innovate new ideas and give users the best of experiences.
Virtual Reality, Augmented reality, 3D printing, Parametric design, and sustainability are some of the most promising and powerful technologies taking over the field of architecture and design.
Virtual Reality (VR)
Virtual Reality is a technology that uses computer aids to create a simulated environment. It replaces real experience with an artificially enhanced one, such that the users are immersed in it and can interact with the 3D worlds. This technology is gradually evolving as an essential part of the architecture and design industry. When implemented, this technology gives a broad, exciting and real-time experience of the imagination and intentions of the designer. From the stages of concept evolution to the project collaborations, through to the intricate finishing details that make a design from good to great, VR can sell an idea in the best possible way. It would help overcome one of the biggest challenges faced by an architect – of convincing the client why and how the design works, in an effective way, receiving valuable inputs/suggestions that can be integrated into the proposed design. Having a user-friendly interface, VR allows the designer to simultaneously work on multiple proposals to the finest of the details and discuss all the possibilities with the clients before finalizing one of them. The feedback based on the aspects and experiences enjoyed by the clients, the struggle to engage and interact with some particular spaces (if any), their likes and dislikes would all help architects to incorporate real-time changes. The technology of VR helps an architect gain a competitive edge over others with just computer-built 3D renderings. It avoids several rounds of revisions, as a detailed representation of the building is ready. This technology replicates real-world scenarios, thus demonstrating the real-time challenges faced by the architects and their clients.
3D printing is a technology that involves the manufacture/construction of three-dimensional products from Computer-Aided Design models or other 3D digital models. In future, it would have a huge impact on architecture, from concept models and custom designs to interior design and 3D printed constructions. This technology takes advantage of traditional methods and materials to bring an idea into Reality in an easier, cheaper and more efficient way. It helps architects and designers save on a lot of time and hard work that is invested in handmade models, especially when complex geometrical designs are involved. 3D printing creates a highly detailed physical model with a choice of intricately carving every material and colour that goes in. Customized materials/textures can be created and produced in larger quantities by being them to factories and workshops, where other techniques like concrete casting or injection moulds can be used. Having an entire building 3D printed would be efficient and crisp, saving on the labour and material expenses, energy and time.
This technology can be termed an architect’s programing language. It uses mathematics and computer algorithm to set up a structural geometry of a project. It uses parametric modelling techniques as its base, neutralizing the factor of human error in the process. It simultaneously proposes different options that can be discussed with the clients and makes the process of design development easier. It can model the complexity of the designs, irrespective of the scale, at maximum accuracy.
Some key benefits of this technology are that:
– It saves on time and expenses on trial and error.
– It can generate flexible yet beautiful designs.
– It provides a thorough view of the 3D model, with no limits for modifications.
– It can be re-used. It is a weapon that lets an architect consider a building and later reframe it to fit into another of different requirements. In such cases, Artificial Intelligence helps reduce an architect’s efforts and allows them to freely think about other innovative ideas to create something new.
With the increasing population, efficient use of the available resources is an important factor for Earth to sustain.
“There is enough for everyone’s needs, but not for everyone’s greed”.
— M K Gandhi
In order to satisfy their ever-growing demands, humans exploit nature, and there has been a shrink in the amount of livable space available on Earth. Innovative ways like Rain Water Harvesting, bio bubbles, the use of renewable and reusable resources, green, vertical infrastructures, eco-friendly materials, and new technologies are being explored to protect the environment from over-exploitation. Today, there is social awareness created and initiatives taken by responsible citizens to reduce this over-use. The factor of sustainability has to be incorporated at every step in the design rather than considering it a separate plug-in.
Thus, architecture, in future, has high scopes in exploring and utilizing the fast-developing technologies to create greater experiences by having nature-driven, sustainable concepts, celebrating, researching and re-interpreting our traditions, culture and history, to make this world a better place to live in.