The future of architecture is a mirror to the world’s established culture. Every new blueprint of change and the growth forward is a result of baby steps that innumerable cultures devised with a ground of inquisitiveness. A boundless theatre with fast ending reels, that is the pace of architecture, of its rhythm and perpetual involvement in the revolution of styles.
Thousands of cultures have evolved with several new inventions and potentials. Let us understand the same through a coherent list.
The Palette of Possibilities
1. A culture of continuous skylines
Humans tend to conquer space multi-directionally. Designing and building in the four cardinal directions. To explore and experiment. When lands first evolved, civilizations expanded horizontally. Settlements erupted like a slow powerful flood and sustained the past eras.
After years of progressions, when we faced a shortage of land; ideas shooted up and so did our structures.
Though it was initiated in the immediate outline of the industrial revolution, it continues to be a sightful and demanding structure. The future skyscrapers manifest functions beyond residences and office spaces. They will comprise multiple functions like data storage towers, host permanent refugee camps, curate vertical forests, and landfills.
Material flexibility is the most noted advancement. Stretching beyond the stereotype of concrete, glass, and steel; countries like Japan, the USA, and China are shifting focus towards wood and photovoltaics.
Significant examples are:
W350 project, Japan.
It is planned to be designed to resist strong winds and earthquakes, to be made of higher than 6.5 million cubic feet of wood, the material palette estimating 90% wood and 10% steel.
The framework, Portland, Oregon:
America’s first skyscraper made of wood. It will be supported by wooden columns that are laminated and a vertical wood core.
Developing countries are giving into the culture of multiplying skylines that take over a city.
2. Underwater Architecture
With tall rises posing respective issues, underwater architecture became an inviting field of experimentation. Architecture’s reach is shot vertically down, to explore the depths and the probabilities that float. Although the structures completed underwater are very meagre, they are still confidently functioning. There is a high possibility that this field will expand from just hotels and luxury spaces to housing and other facilities soon.
Countries like the Maldives, China, and Dubai have bravely accomplished this kind of architecture.
Example of Underwater Architecture
The Conrad Maldives, Rangali island
The Muraka, a luxury two-level residence submerged over 16 feet below sea level.
Beneath the ocean, the users will breathe amidst the sea life floating. A blue ceiling, blue walls and a school of fishes passing by.
The visibility of gushing water yet a blanket of ease. An architectural wonder, a living space underwater. An attempt to basement their luxury beneath the ocean. A journey of learning sea secrets as the place narrates an undersea film.
Other examples of underwater architecture are:
- Sub-Six Maldives
2.Floating seahorse villa, Dubai
3. A nomadic tradition, again.
Architecture on wheels.
In a social context where rapid movement drives the world, mobile architecture is reeling in. Touching the historic ways of nomadic living, again. Small houses on wheels are making a lasting impression on many individuals who want to experience moving cultures.
Driving across a region, living on that land for a transient moment and seeking yet another culture. A new month, a new land, a new neighbourhood, and a redefining cycle of adapting and experiencing.
Living big in a tiny house is unmasking this very idea. It documents the stories of people, their small houses and their efficiency through episodes that highlight living on wheels, in a tiny home with a big heart.
Nomadic architecture is movement and magic stored in mini spaces on wheels.
4. A distanced world
The pandemic and other distinct global issues are a pivoting factor in the future of architecture.
Covid-19. A turbulent pandemic that slept over the entire world. An organism that carried more fear than the virus. The crushing world held its breath beneath the mask.
And the generation grew distant.
Distant with nature.
Distant with each other.
Distant with themselves.
All locked up in the lockdowns, glued to their screens; consuming content that they might forget six hours later. Furthermore, a disappearing attention span is hammering focus and discipline. This is the state of the world and its rapidly shifting ways of life.
There seems to be a disconnect.
And architecture has the power to rebuild this distanced world. To follow social distancing and to create spaces that are distant yet produce a wave of connection. Interaction. Smiles and contentment. The satisfaction of just existing in a space, a place that evokes conversations.
This is what architects must aim at, to design spaces that flood the disconnect we have walked ourselves to. To build and fill the gaps of emptiness and the lack of conversations and empathy.
A design that elevates. A built structure that builds lives. A space that constructs a community.
The Big War.
The world has grown into a diverse sphere, due to varied opinions. People and their preferences. Every human has the right to choose. To prefer. And with the dominating power of choice arrives a shadow of differences. Conflicts. These differences are the reason for the multitude of cultures birthing. Cultures leading to lines being drawn on a land. Lines that are called borders.
The abundance of choices, all fall into two saddles; For and Against. With the world facing an extreme climatic crisis and stressing global issues like hunger, homelessness and pollution; we are confronted with two options and kinds of people.
The ones who want to embrace momentary gratification because they have enough space to keep their foot. The ones who notice the end of the burning bridge and take action.
A digital, concrete jungle on one page and the sustainable; vernacular on the other.
A Truce, The Intersection.
Architecture is a collaboration between design, art, history and everything in-between.
Architecture, in its truest definition, is a junction of varied passions. The keyword being junction. The future of architecture will be a floating junction. A part of that practices climbing up blocks and masses of concrete, catering to the profit that is always in demand.
A part of them reaching the ground and seeking solace in the wood, natural stone, bamboo and soil. In the earth that has an element of them in it. Both practices have their shortcomings as well as advantages. Blending the pros of both the practices to make an effective built space will be the climax of the intelligence that man has acquired.
The intersection and a struggling balance between the voices that root for-profit and the voices that vouch for the environment. The future of architecture will be a floating junction, adjoining the goodness of both realms like a beautiful orange forming between the red and the yellow during a sunset.
The above-listed concepts are certain to unfold our present into a meaningful future but more significantly; besides the new inventions, technological advancements and evolving impressions, the future I envision has Architects that harbour empathy.
Architects who design spaces that uplift communities. Architects who create breathing structures, and with their integrity and love lend a warm hand forward, to hold. To be held.