Ever since time immemorial, civilizations have risen and ultimately fallen to their demise. Through it all, architecture and the science of construction has always played an integral role in shaping the fabric of these communities. Different eras have been defined by their distinctive style of built structures. Architecture is quite evidently the key to the future of living. It is the solution for the obstacles that plague society. Today, the world is evolving and growing at an almost expeditious pace and with that, the need for built and unbuilt spaces is also increasing in complexity. The role of an architect is expanding from the rigid confines of what it previously used to be. 

The Architecture of Tomorrow: Salvation or Damnation of the Society? - Sheet1
Caption: City of the Future _©Plompmozos

Emerging Trends in Architecture

The Architecture of Tomorrow: Salvation or Damnation of the Society? - Sheet2
L.A. of Blade Runner 2049_©teahub.io

With the rapid technological advancements materializing on the global scale, the world of design is also ripe with boundless opportunities. The futuristic vision which was once considered as mere fantasy can now be modelled into reality.

The almost brutalist and dystopian city of Blade Runner may become an actuality in the coming years. Today, architects can get a feel for a design before it is built. The architectural, engineering, and construction industries have already been altered by virtual reality technology. For projects in the conceptual stage, virtual reality is a tremendous step forward. Architects can now examine how a design is put together as well as how engineering is used.

Now the focus is on an integrated architectural and user-focused environment to enhance the user’s experience, rather than purely architecture. With the advent of new technologies, big developments can now be designed as utopic micro-cities that provide a variety of services and cater to the demands of increased user satisfaction. Due to limited land availability, the new trend of erecting super-tall skyscrapers will cause cities to grow upwards rather than outwards, breaking the pattern of urban expansion experienced over the last century.

The Architecture of Tomorrow: Salvation or Damnation of the Society? - Sheet3
Future of Urban Highrises_© https://www.hexapolis.com/2015/11/10/the-cloud-city-skyscraper-gives-us-a-glimpse-into-the-future-of-urban-highrises/

Sustainable Survival through Architecture

Even with all the evolution in technology, there is one unflinching truth. The resources we have are limited. Due to the growing populace, the land will inevitably run out as we continue inhabiting different corners of the earth.  Around the world, sustainable architecture is at the forefront of new green building and renovation initiatives. It has the potential to have a substantial positive impact on both humans and the environment in urban areas.

The Architecture of Tomorrow: Salvation or Damnation of the Society? - Sheet4
A Sustainable Future_ © Federico Rostagno

Sustainable architecture offers a critical chance to reinvent zero-carbon building by establishing standards for highly energy-efficient structures, renewable energy, and even carbon offsetting when needed. It does support housing, employment, and a variety of other advantages. From public to private houses, business spaces to educational institutions, ecological design is making its way into almost every aspect of architecture. Smart buildings control their own temperature, direct natural ventilation from the outside, and adjust the amount of natural light in the structure for heating and cooling. To improve cooling, some buildings have a pool or pond-like features, while others recycle rainwater.

Sustainable architecture in cities has begun to incorporate natural green areas into its designs, in addition to the typical low-carbon technology and smart urban cooling systems. The demand for greenery is greater than ever as cities continue to rise, with predictions that 70% of the global population will be urban by 2050. Regular exposure to nature has been shown to promote mental and physical health as well as the overall quality of life.

Architecture as the Pandemic Panacea

The Architecture of Tomorrow: Salvation or Damnation of the Society? - Sheet5
Distancing in Pandemic _©Pascal Rosignol

Even with all the development going on in the world, the COVID-19 that struck in early 2020, left the world at a standstill. It raised questions about the direction humanity was advancing towards. The new reality of isolation also challenged the future of architecture and design. 

We, humans, are inherently social creatures. Our love for wandering, discovery and spontaneous connections is unmatched. But, what do we do when the best hope for stopping the spread of coronavirus is isolation and social distancing? The design ideas which were once considered revolutionary are now declared frivolous and whimsical because of a change in the context of the world we live in. As the pandemic rages on, it is evident that this is a moment of transformation for the future of architecture. 

A New Road Ahead

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A New Approach to Design_©https://medium.com/studiotmd/emerging-trends-that-will-shape-the-future-of-architecture-356ba3e7f910

A radical approach to the quintessential design strategy might be the need of the hour. Unfortunately, there has been a gradual loss of vision and philosophy in the design world across the last few decades.

Architecture must transform back into a service profession, working not in isolation but across disciplinary boundaries, and seeing projects as societal problems and demands that require broader, more holistic solutions rather than problems to be handled with steel, concrete, and glass. The roadblocks brought on by the pandemic have reinvigorated a resurgent sense of ambition and zeal in the architecture strata. A theoretical and pragmatic approach to architecture does not seem out of the question anymore.

References
  1. Archipreneur. (2015). 5 Emerging Trends That Will Shape the Future of Architecture. [online] Available at: https://archipreneur.com/5-emerging-trends-that-will-shape-the-future-of-architecture/ [Accessed 15 Aug. 2021].
  2. ‌https://www.facebook.com/philip.kennicott (n.d.). The pandemic has shown us what the future of architecture could be. [online] Washington Post. Available at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/magazine/2020/07/13/pandemic-has-shown-us-what-future-architecture-could-be/.
  3. LIVEKINDLY. (2021). What Is Sustainable Architecture? The Future of “Green” Buildings, Explained. [online] Available at: https://www.livekindly.co/what-is-sustainable-architecture/.

Images

01_ City of the Future_Plompmozos

02_ L.A. in Blade Runner 2049_ teahub.io

03_ Future of Urban Highrises_ https://www.hexapolis.com/2015/11/10/the-cloud-city-skyscraper-gives-us-a-glimpse-into-the-future-of-urban-highrises/

04_A Sustainable Future_Federico Rostagno

05_ Distancing in Pandemic_Pascal Rosignol

06_ New Approach to Design_ https://medium.com/studiotmd/emerging-trends-that-will-shape-the-future-of-architecture-356ba3e7f910

Author

Faria is an architecture student at IGDTUW, Delhi. She feels passionate towards learning and actively looks for new experiences. She believes that the design language should be universally accessible and understood, hence, she strives to uncover hidden dynamics of design by shifting the language from visual to verbal.

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