What does the future hold for architecture? Architecture has seen a tremendous change in the last three decades. When it comes to cities, architects have created some strong architectural assets which could help to secure the future. They are already talking about such discourses and trying their bit to create a social impact. Architects have already taken initiatives to pave a path towards a sustainable and inclusive future. With architectural journalism, the propagation of information has become easy and effective.

The ‘Architect’ in Architecture 

With the growing popularity of architectural journalism, one finds themselves in a realm where the definition of architecture is always re-defined by emerging trends. Numerous platforms and architecture critics discussing the discourse of future architecture make us think what will be the role of the architect? Is the architect able to provide socially inclusive, sustainable, and cohesive space? There is a disparity between what people desire and what they are given, which is now being addressed through national discourse and participatory programs. Even Though architects have become more conscious about the “What ifs..” and “Why…”. Architects’ roles in the future may be considerably different from what we understand them to be today. That’s because we’ve begun to see that architecture is about people and their place, regardless of how Google defines it. 

There is a threat to the profession of architecture. But this threat can rather be seen as an encouragement to explore other specializations. It is critical to start a revolution to alter the world for the better. Start a conversation among architects on how to evolve with the times and offer fresh insights to newer projects, cities, concepts, and ideas. Social anthropologists, philanthropists, artists, philosophers, activists, architectural critics, and environmentalists will all be active team members in design studios, working on complex projects that require expertise from a variety of disciplines. This might mean that there will be a threat to the architecture profession, However, it is important to step out of the niche the architect has created for himself to look beyond the buildings, isn’t it?

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Collaborations_©openarchcollab

‘City’, instead of just ‘Building’ 

“To thrive in the future”, says Rae Smith, a senior urban designer based in HOK’s San Francisco office, “we need to maximize the value of our built environment and leverage it to solve multiple problems at once”. 

The evolution of institutions, economies, technologies, and cultures continually redefines how built spaces support and create understandable models of daily life, work, communication, collaboration, exchange, learning, and sharing. Creation, or identity of communities and institutions. Many large cities in India face problems with infrastructure, basic planning, and sanitation, although they receive little attention, while small towns can provide a way to re-look at urban planning from the beginning. However, these three-tier cities aspire to be the next “Mumbai” without considering its history, context, and identity. As the ideal development of Indian cities is restricted to make them infrastructure-heavy. There is a need to look at the experience of these infrastructure cities. Most would agree that the cities of our future should be places designed for people, not vehicles, buildings, and businesses. What is needed is the creation of dynamic communities, connections, and seemingly between people and places. Progressively, people are starting to look at the big picture in their cities, and instead of focusing only on individual projects, they see the need for architecture to engage with cities. The smart city explanation, whose definition is still evolving, is trying to involve the intangible and people-friendly space now.

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Cities for the People_©JanGehl

Architectural Education

Education is the main component to bring about a revolution of change. With COVID-19, education saw a major change, but can the profession keep up with the change? Is it possible for architectural pedagogy to keep up with the times and prepare students for both professional practice and an unpredictable future? In India, the educational system is likewise addressing such concerns on many scales. Even if many students imagine achieving utopia, it’s still a good idea to make the world a better place, right?

“One of the characteristics of the millennial generation is the desire to have some kind of social impact”, Weiss adds. “They want to make sure that everything they’re doing is doing good in the world. It’s no surprise that this is coming up in architecture programs.” Ferguson has noticed it, too. “Students are hungry for this type of work,” he says. 

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Architecture Theory Studio_©VirginiaDuran

Architectural Education has given the freedom to the students to develop a sensitivity towards issues which they relate most to and that makes the education system the strongest asset. With multiple perspectives where every student is creating its niche to make its change, it enables this industry to come up with innovative ways to secure the future of architecture. Architectural education has the power to direct and guide the profession into a sustainable future.

Architecture Design Studio_©CommonEdge

References:

  1. Duran, V., 2021. How does architecture affect education?. [online] Virginia Duran. Available at: <https://virginia-duran.com/2013/09/12/how-does-architecture-affect-education/> [Accessed 29 August 2021].
  2. Aia.org. 2021. As architecture education faces a shift, how will our communities fit in? [online] Available at: <https://www.aia.org/articles/6108507-as-architecture-education-faces-a-shift-ho> 
  3. Medium. 2021. Emerging Trends That Will Shape the Future of Architecture. [online] Available at: <https://medium.com/studiotmd/emerging-trends-that-will-shape-the-future-of-architecture-356ba3e7f910> 
Author

Vaishnavi Gondane is trained as an architect and has grown to be a hybrid thinker. She is a research enthusiast in the field of art history and architectural theory. She believes that reflecting on history and theory will help to develop a sensitivity towards culture and heritage.

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