Transition in Architecture

There is something ludicrous about the irrational urge to build for the sake of our desires, and translate them into architectural spaces. These buildings are then driven by human emotions such as power, money, hope, and longing for home. There is a paradoxical power of architecture: it looks fixed and solid but is continuously evolving and changing (Rowan Moore, 2014). These built forms are poetry, emerged and assembled into shapes that are intricately linked, yet seems to be very discrete. It holds more meaning than spaces and structures and goes beyond tangible and intangible. We live in a period of transition; everything is in a constant phase of evolving and adapting and readapting. Even architecture has been transitioning, from modern to postmodern, from classicism to minimalism and minimalism to computational. 

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Ribbon Chapel by Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP Co., Ltd._©Yasuhiro Sakuda

Breathing Life Back into Cities

More than two-and-half millennia ago, the Greek philosopher Heraclitus observed, “Everything changes, and nothing stands still”. It is a basic human need to evolve and adapt and the human race has been evolving since the beginning of time, and so has technology. With the advancements in technology and better building software, our typology of predicting what a building should look like is altering and has produced an architecture that was once beyond the imagination of the human mind. This bold expressiveness of form and design generated by these software produces innovative and creative designs which are meant to be noticed and appreciated and are just the beginning of what more architecture can bring. In the future, his architecture is to become artwork in nature. It will push the boundaries and will refine everything that is now known in architecture. No doubt that with the advancements in technology and resources available to architects there soon will be the time where architecture will become unimaginable. From rotating structures to floating cities, It will go beyond what can be imagined. But the actual question that arises here is will the future architecture remain humane? Is it going to consider the emotions of its inhabitant or will it only become something that is derived out of power or something that is pleasantly vile? 

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French architects Vincent Callebaut proposes ‘algae airships’ using hydrogen-creating seaweed which allows the structures to float above the ground_©Vincent Callebaut

Need for a New Typology in Architecture

With the emergence of generative architecture, many reactionary architects raised the concern that the product of computational based designs are machine-based structures that are emotionless, and believe that parametric architecture will produce generic cities or designs that will become the new normal. Although generative architecture can yield beautiful forms but lack a humane and emotional element (Sorkin, 2014). 

They claim that architecture needs to be rebuilt since contemporary architecture is becoming insensitive to users’ context and history. Even a renowned architect and professor Pervaiz vandal emphasized the historical context of the built structure. He argued that the cultural and historical context should be kept as the first and foremost condition while designing societies in the future, He considers that bringing back the vernacular architecture is the only solution that can provide better living conditions and improve the quality of architecture being produced (Vendal,2011). 

Even though our system has tended to promote showy, trite, formal design over the architecture of substance. It has often privileged the wrong modernist architects in the past, nonetheless these new techniques, if more carefully and thoughtfully scrutinized, are producing architecture that is not only futuristic but is again working to bring more malleability to our environments. Hence the role of architecture is crucial in defining the future of architectural design and more receptive societies and help to provide platforms upon which better architecture can be built because that’s the thing about architecture: people who live in them do a good job of making them feel like them home despite all the design and architectural obstacles that may confront them (Salingaros​ ,2015).

Cities today are in a major crisis, the health and wellbeing of their inhabitants are at risk due to their insufficient infrastructures, increase in urban population, pollution, and the quality of life they provide. As more and more designers are getting aware of the social and environmental crises faced by these cities, there is rising hope that the future of architecture will be brighter. Buildings that will decentralize energy will improve the quality of life, wellbeing of people, and ecology around them. The cities will be built vertically since the scarcity of land is increasing, and will be self-sufficient. The buildings will live and breathe. Increase the quality of life and will provide solutions to most of the environmental hazards we are facing today. The futuristic cities will have the potential to provide liveable spaces where people can interact and become aware of themselves and their surroundings (O’Neill, 2019). 

Terreform One’s vision of New York as a smart city_©Mitchell Joachim/Terreform One

References:

  1. Rowan Moore (2014) Why we build: power and desire in architecture. Harperdesign.
  2. Sorkin, M. (2014). Critical Measure Why Criticism matters.
  3. Vandal, P. (2011). Historiography of Architecture of Pakistan and the Region. Thapa
  4. Salingaros, N. (2015). The 21st Century Needs Its Own Paradigm Shift in Architecture. [online] Metropolis. Available at: https://metropolismag.com/projects/the-21st-century-needs-its-own-paradigm-shift-in-architecture/ [Accessed 17 Dec. 2021].
  5. ‌O’Neill, M. (2019) The Future of Design, Architectural Digest. Architectural Digest. Available at: https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/future-of-design-2019.
Author

Romaisa Tahir ( a student of architecture at the Institute for arts and culture, from Pakistan) enjoys writing and expresses her concerns via poetry and narrative writing. She believes that the passion for writing and admiration for the art of building can be blended; allowing the silence of buildings to speak through words and add meaning to their existence.

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