Can we see a world without architecture? A continent without a skyscraper? Or a village without a tribal home? Architecture has set a definition for all things surrounding us and has re-defined the living mechanism of our civilization. But to the eyes of every individual, The World’s Architect plays a different role. From the portrayal of a place, we call home to the act of, why is this building designed in such a way when it could have been like the other buildings surrounding it? 

Rethinking The Future Awards 2022

The Beginning of the Future

Architecture, aka, The World’s Architect - Sheet1
Step Pyramid_bbc.com
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Mohenjo-Daro_wonderopolis.org

The first architect ever to be noted down in the books was Imhotep, creator of the Pyramid Djoser, the oldest pyramid in Egypt. Until its construction before the 27th century, no one has thought of a structure with a vertical function. After its creation, people’s view on architecture took a 360-degree turn and started to imagine the impossible. From the complex form of Ziggurat in Mesopotamia to the well-planned City of Mohenjo-Daro, as time progressed, our world was gifted with unique and beautiful designs that defined each place’s architectural heritage and cultural diversity. Henceforth, the foundation for the future had been struck on the ground for each civilization.

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Impact of Architecture in our Daily Life

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Reed College Interior_opisarch
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Catholic Church Interior_Greg Westfall

Over time, our life gets randomized into different slots according to a person’s age. Accordingly, the design of structures got remapped due to the specific requirements of each group of users; an overhead shelter, a learning space for children, a space for work, a place for prayer and worship, and so on. Architecture helps us to define each space and gives meaning to our emotions. From the warmth of comfort and snugness that we experience in our home, a sense of individualism and longing for knowledge from schools and colleges, to the feeling of peace and relaxation from the bustling life when we go inside a religious place of worship; architecture opens us a path to process these emotions. 

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9-11 Memorial_Nick Starichenko
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9-11 Memorial_hitsdailydouble.com

Designing a space allows us to express ourselves or the feeling of a community in common, and one of the most remarkable examples is the 9/11 memorial. It commemorates the victims of the attacks on 9/11 at the World Trade Centre and other places. The design highlights two large black voids whose four sides are enclosed by a waterfall fountain cascading into the center, which appears to have an infinite depth. The victim’s names are engraved on a bronze plate placed along the voids’ boundary at a certain angle. Upon hitting the sunlight during particular hours on a day, each name shines on the bronze panel. Trees are continued to be planted in the surrounding area to define the original footprints of the two World Trade Center. This place allows the family members of the victims to come and remember their loved ones who passed on this day. Here, architecture creates an opportunity for people to unite and bond.

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Diversified Perception of Architecture 

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Views of Different People_istockphoto.com

A view through each eye deciphers different thoughts of perception. It may vary from person to person depending on lifestyle, occupation, personal interest, etc. When it comes to architecture, one of the fields of deception is based on the viewer’s domain. An architect has unique reasoning and understanding of a building, from the material used to the judgment of each part of a building, and has the freedom to design and go beyond the typical convention within the standards of building by-laws. At the end of the day, designing a building according to the client’s preference takes higher precedence. 

For an engineer, the key aspect lies in the structural details. A building is a framework of beams, columns, and floor slabs whose design, from the number of reinforcement bars to the quality and quantity of cement used, is fixed by an engineer depending on varying factors. Their view revolves around the best and efficient use of supports and considers the design aspect depending on their preference. From a commercial business standpoint, the design, annual cost of maintenance, and space distribution play a vital role. These three roles are dependent on the style of architecture that is followed and implemented.

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What’s Taken must be Returned.

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Living Roots Bridge, Meghalaya_Amos Chapple

In the earlier days, people used their innate skills to survive, taking quite a bit of help from mother nature. They used their surroundings to their advantage and coped along with it. Change to the environment was minimal in the initial stages. One of the pristine examples is the living root bridge in Meghalaya. But as time progressed, people started to be less bothered about their surroundings and began to destroy nature for cities and infrastructure to arise. This sparked a catastrophic reaction whose end product was assumed to be dangerous. As an initial result, nature gave its reply with the two words called climate change.

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Vertical Forest_Boeri’s Milan Studio

The reaction that commenced due to the minor progression or development in environmental safety and green architecture, with one of its main catalysts as clearing land for construction, will soon be reversed with two words: sustainable development. This, in straightforward terms, is an approach to economic growth without compromising the quality of the environment for the future generation. United Nations has set 17 goals under this, where architecture plays a crucial role in improving the infrastructure and building sustainable cities and communities. We can achieve this via the implementation of green plants in the building design, usage of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind energy to run the building, replacing non-renewable material with sustainable ones, etc. In a way, architecture integrates both design and nature and beautifies our environment. 

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Towards a World with Endless Possibilities

2050 Vision of Paris_Vincent Callebaut Studio

One of the dominant players of the future is going to be the advancement in the technology sector. Even today, there are tech gadgets that have immense possibilities for a coalition with architecture. We see objects right in front of us that can be used for the progression in our design but lack the technology for implementing it. The present generation can invest their time and resources into research to breakthrough in the early stages. From the reduction of carbon emission of buildings to the possibility of floating cities, the future of architecture and technology moving together in one direction is not far away.

Architecture is everywhere around us and provides us with a platform to experiment and invent. It helps us to distinguish different places and tells about the history of civilization. It gives meaning to space and fulfills the needs of the people. It’s present in our life more than we know it. There are unknown prospects yet to be explored, and architecture will help us get onto this path. In simple words, architecture is all about a dream waiting to be realised..

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References:

Hirst, K., 2021. Biography of Imhotep, Ancient Egyptian Architect, Philosopher, God. [online] ThoughtCo. Available at: <https://www.thoughtco.com/imhotep-4772346> [Accessed 4 June 2021].

Balters, S., 2021. 9/11 Memorial and Museum / Handel Architects with Peter Walker, Davis Brody Bond. [online] ArchDaily. Available at: <https://www.archdaily.com/168153/in-progress-911-memorial-and-museum> [Accessed 4 June 2021].

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Sdgs.un.org. 2021. THE 17 GOALS | Sustainable Development. [online] Available at: <https://sdgs.un.org/goals> [Accessed 4 June 2021].

Author

Milan Denny is an architecture student who has just begun to explore his way into architectural journalism. He is genuinely passionate about architecture and technology and constantly seeks new experiences to widen his knowledge to blend them. Tea is the shortcut key to his heaven.

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Rethinking The Future Awards 2022