The unrelenting uprising advancement of technology has led civilization to discoveries using the latest technology to further advance its material terminology. Human beings attest to trials to avail improvement. Historical scriptures have depicted failed experimentation and resolutions, to which we now can refer back to and learn. Due to varying circumstances of the times, architecture is made to adapt to these changes. May it be the falling of an economy, a pandemic, or climate change? Sometimes, like the pace of internet trends, buildings too could roll the same ball.
Vertical, Horizontal Cities: Factors affecting the circumstance of the land’s use
How do you accommodate 1,000 people into a 13,000 sq ft space? The response is to build upwards. Urbanization spreads like wildfire along with the soar of land values; there is a need to increase land utility in securing a place to live for the insistent rapid rise in population. Cities are magnets, with a wide variety of facilities and services, it is highly likely people would (inter)migrate closer to the—higher education, job opportunities, really good food maybe. In Hong Kong, those with the shorter end of the stick would wind up in flats smaller than one to two hundred sq ft of area. In extreme cases, “caged” homes. In rural areas, the urban plan is more spread out, mostly of freestanding, detached, or terraced houses. The buildings in the image above, constructed as if there was a format, repetitive, dull-coloured, what I would call, a “controlled dystopia”.
A Human Design: Biophilia and a human-centered design
It’s not necessarily green walls or heavily utilizing timber as a way to connect with nature. Integration of natural elements into a built environment and the peoples’ improved quality of life is what defines biophilia—cultivating a depth to empathizing the human experience. It seeks the desirability, feasibility, and viability that unlocks true innovation. There is an urgent need to change the way infrastructures are being mass-constructed today, classes confining students within white walls, workplaces being illuminated with fluorescent lighting, these make a building flat, lifeless.
A major upsurge in psychological improvement within the community would secure a better future for everyone. One way to achieve this is by biophilic design. There is a thrumming rhythm the natural life quietly hums; it just needs the right artists to tune into the right pitch to make others hear it. The human mind needs stimulation, an inborn cry for the natural window. Opening the window would allow the connection to the warmth, the breeze, the sound of people, and soft humid air. There is no tightrope to this method of design; people can fearlessly place their sole fully on the ground and breathe—a sustainable essential to life.
Disdain, Disorder, and Development: The reality of things, how we’re going to make it better
Some would say it’s too late. We’ve poisoned our oceans, decapitated forests, fogged the air, and marched loudly. Even natural forces could set a major impact on the lives of people, like the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. However heavy the ordeal, there must be an ethical solution to mitigate and balance the forces of a predicament.
“Add, never demolish” “For us, it is an act of violence”., a short excerpt from 2021 Pritzker Prize winners Anne Lacaton and Jean Philippe Vassal. What already exists should be honoured; the restorative process of a building can beseech kindness to the community and the environment. Building a sense of collectiveness, following the laws of interconnectedness, is being fair to the environment, humanity, and even the next generation that follows.
The notion of accountability involves everyone; what is borrowed, must be returned. Three pillars of sustainability must be addressed, where it considers the welfare of the people, the trends of the economy, and how much impact is made on the environment. These dimensions define the body of how one’s work could instantly shape and reform the future.
The Statement: The standpoint in pursuit of the architectural field
The thoughts that go into the design process could weigh the world, even when proposed, could also make just as heavy an impact in the room. The point of the matter is concrete statements could reshape thoughts when justified into reality could reshape a city. We are responsible for making statements that others would eventually live by. From the way one circulates an area, the way they think and interact with others to the quality of their respiration. One may think there is a pattern to follow when it comes to designing buildings or space. The future, however, says otherwise; it is undefined, complex, and in some cases, unpredictable. It is normal to fear the unknown, though preparation coos it. The standpoint is the past behind us and a blurry image of the future. Statements are reflections of the past to prepare for the unprecedented.
Gibson, E. (2017). Drone film by Mariana Bisti captures Hong Kong’s densely packed high-rise buildings. Retrieved 11 September 2021, from https://www.dezeen.com/2017/07/21/video-wending-fanrong-hong-kong-drone-movie-footage-mariana-bisti-high-rise-buildings/
Jeffries, I. (2016). Three Lenses of Innovation. Retrieved 11 September 2021, from https://isaacjeffries.com/blog/2016/3/9/three-lenses-of-innovation
Consultancy, A. (2021). BIOPHILIC DESIGN: How to incorporate to your home interior. Retrieved 11 September 2021, from https://algedra.com.tr/en/blog/biophilic-design-how-to-incorporate-to-your-home-interior
Ravenscroft, T. (2021). Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal win Pritzker Architecture Prize. Retrieved 11 September 2021, from https://www.dezeen.com/2021/03/16/anne-lacaton-jean-philippe-vassal-pritzker-architecture-prize-2021/