The future of architecture is not limited to physical structures; it encompasses a holistic approach that integrates with nature. This includes considerations for ecology and the environment. Over time, architecture has evolved from traditional housing to towering skyscrapers, presenting a diverse range of design and construction methods. However, this continuous cycle of growth often overlooks the potential side effects on the environment. Our architecture has evolved from traditional buildings to towering skyscrapers in numerous ways. However, this progress has come with unseen side effects. The good news is that we have a solution: sustainability. This is our answer to the worsening problems faced by Mother Earth. It’s easy to forget about the earth, but in reality, our actions have consequences. Mother Earth has always been generous to us, providing us with nourishment. As we transition from vernacular architecture to kinetic facades and skyscrapers, it’s essential that we prioritize sustainability. Our new solutions and ideas are not only feasible but also beneficial for our society and the earth. Our cities should not only be defined by opulent buildings; there needs to be a balance between development and preservation. These progressive concepts not only benefit society but also offer feasible and impactful contributions to the planet. As we mold our cities, our objective is to uphold the equilibrium between architectural progress and the safeguarding of our natural environment.

“The Mindfulness City will be sustainable. To be mindful is to be aware — to perform best,” said Giulia Frittoli.

The city of Bhutan, known for its mindfulness, serves as a compelling example that inspires us. Frittoli said,” We started with a geography point of view before an civic point of view. We started from the terrain.” Frittoli emphasized the significance of beginning with a holistic landscape perspective before delving into an urban viewpoint, with a focus on environmental considerations. By considering all aspects and addressing the lost profitable, educational, and futuristic openings, this offer is designed to feed not only to mortal requirements but also to the ecological, natural, and original aspects of our earth.” We examined how the gutters expand and contract. The geography isn’t fixed; it’s a living organism. We’ll make space for the water.” Regarding water, natural corridors for creatures have been designed, leading to colorful agrarian supports for profitable growth and sustainable living. The plan includes provisions for accommodating water and creating natural animal corridors, which in turn support agricultural development for sustainable living and economic growth.

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The Mindfulness City, Bhutan _©BIG
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    The Mindfulness City, Bhutan _©Brickvisual

    Biophilic design:

Biophilic design is a crucial tool for fostering a genuine connection between humans and nature. This connection yields numerous physical, mental, and behavioral benefits. The goal of biophilic design is to create harmonious environments that provide ideal living spaces within modern structures. This principle urges us to incorporate diverse design strategies and applications that promote the embrace of this concept. It involves an integrated approach based on three biophilic design frameworks: direct experience of nature, indirect experience of nature, and the experience of space and place.

Biophilic design can be incorporated in three ways: direct experience of nature through exposure to natural light, air, plants, animals, and landscapes; indirect experience of nature through exposure to images and representations of nature; and experience of space and place, including prospect and refuge, organized complexity, and cultural and ecological attachment to place. The future of architecture with biophilic solutions will require collaboration among architects, urban planners, policymakers, and other stakeholders. Additionally, it requires a shift in mindset and recognition of the importance of our connection to nature in the design and development of our built environments.

  1. Vernacular architecture:

Vernacular architecture represents a fundamental design approach that integrates traditional techniques and local materials into building and planning processes. Embracing a vernacular style necessitates a deep understanding of historical and contextual aspects. Regrettably, vernacular architecture is a rarity, often marginalized by contemporary trends, particularly in the context of urbanization. Consequently, the efficacy of low-tech design methods, which offer substantial energy efficiency and sustainability, is frequently disregarded. Before the professionalization of architecture, these methods constituted the exclusive avenue for individuals to craft their living spaces. They meticulously accounted for climatic conditions, local resources, communal necessities, and traditional practices. As a consequence, these enduring methods required minimal alteration and maintenance, preserving their underlying principles and techniques.

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_Bheel community mud house of Ramgarh, Jaisalmer _©Author

The villages in the Jaisalmer district provide excellent examples of traditional techniques that are well-suited to the region’s climatic challenges. These methods include building walls with local sand and stone, plastering them with a mixture of mud and cow dung, and creating paints from different stone colors such as red stone and yellow limestone. The enduring bond between humans and nature reflects the richness of cultural diversity. This connection is manifested through distinct cultural aspects, allowing us to easily identify the unique characteristics of different places. The use of materials, color schemes, lighting, and scale serve as expressions of this vibrant diversity.

The relationship between humans and nature has always been strong. As we look to the future, we recognize the value of embracing our traditional roots alongside modern innovation. By harmonizing vernacular and contemporary architecture, we can achieve extraordinary results. Vernacular architecture, which is a neglected part of our history, is now making a comeback. Balancing modernism and traditionalism will lead to sustainable and energy-efficient methods. The future of architecture will focus on effective solutions for our planet without sacrificing our culture and traditions, rather than just repeating old building styles or constructing taller skyscrapers.

Reference list:

Green, J. (2024). Landscape Architects Lead Bhutan’s Mindfulness city, The Dirt.

Available at: https://dirt.asla.org/2024/03/21/bhutans-mindfulness-city/ [Accessed: 23 May 2024]

Ghisleni, C. (2020). What is vernacular architecture, Arch daily.

Available at: https://www.archdaily.com/951667/what-is-vernacular-architecture [Accessed: 24 May 2024]

Kellert S. and Calabrese E. (2015). The Practice of Biophilic Design. www.biophilic-design.com

Author

She is an architect from Mathura with a strong interest in heritage conservation, adaptive reuse, urban regeneration, and research. She graduated from Dayalbagh Educational Institute, Agra. She has previously worked as a volunteer in different regions of India. She has a keen interest in social engagement activities, as well as research and writing skills. As an architect, she has realized that her objective extends beyond creating new designs to include conserving heritage and contributing to the well-being of future generations.