“You never step into the same river twice” – Heraclitus
What is rethinking?
According to the Cambridge Dictionary the meaning of rethinking is:
to think again about a plan, idea, or system to change or improve it:
To think again. To improve. Or to change. It can be anything. A concept, a structural system, an organization, or even a way of working.
But, why rethink?
The answer to this question lies around us. If you can just stare around your neighborhood or even your room at this moment. You’ll find that in almost most of the things that are there most of them are a product of rethinking.
Let it be the steel structure building that stands tall today in front of you is existing today because someone didn’t settle to believe that we can only be under the rocks as caves. The mug in front of you has a comfortable handle and insulation only because someone didn’t settle with the mud pots and believed that it could be better. Just the way today we carry our smartphones small enough to be carried in our pockets. Only because someone out there believed that it can be improved, it is possible to have a gadget you can carry and be connected to anywhere in the world.
Wasn’t it bizarre to think that we will be able to fly to places through a machine that looks more from a sci-fi movie than reality? It must be a dream for many of our ancestors to know that we have touched the moon today, while the most they fantasized about was to fly a plane across cities. Well, it certainly was bizarre then. Just the way our idea of having flying cars and floating buildings in the coming years seems.
But yesterday’s impossible is today’s reality. And today’s impossible will be tomorrow’s reality. But what does this all say?
It simply says that half of our world exists because things, products, concepts, ideas, plans were rethought. They were challenged, debated on, and discussed. The same plane that flew two people to most is flying hundreds today. Why?
Because they rethought it. And the moment they did that it started paving its way to innovation. As if they hadn’t thought that it could be made better, we would have still been living in caves in remote areas. So, like the many things we discussed architecture is just one of them. And It can be said that it has been one of the most influential fields in which rethinking has played a key role. And you might ask that:
What is the importance of change and evolution in architecture?
I feel that the answer to this question doesn’t need us to dive deeper into some unknown scriptures or books. But just stand in the present moment and glance back into our past. No, not just like you or me. But as a human; that we all are.
What do you see?
Do you see how we all started as the new creature on this unknown planet wandering to get the kill? How we started with the basic necessity of food and safety. Ro settling alongside the banks of rivers. We slowly transitioned from a shelter that can provide us safety from wild animals. To a small settlement where we learned the basic concept of a house. Then we started moving beyond the survival mode and stepped into the settlement format. Where shelter meant more than just safety and a place where we could live with our families and groups. As we shifted to occupations as agriculture houses expanded themselves in format. And soon with science and technological advancements today our architecture has expanded way beyond a shelter. It covers our occupational places, offices. Entertainment centers to luxurious hotels. And the homes we live in today even though have basic aims to protect and shelter us; have expanded in terms of technology, luxury, and comfort.
And a quick view of our architectural evolution timeline can speak for itself as to how much evolution is not just an important factor. But an integral part of the architecture.
With the change in humans; the world is changing too. Our needs change, our requirements have modified. We want different things. The Old is replaced by new. We are changing every day. And very rapidly. And frankly, it is happening so fast and in so many places that it is hard to notice.
Like, have you seen how much you have changed?
Yes, you. You have, I have and all of us have changed. It can be a small or big change. Good or bad. But we have all evolved every day. And to see this we all might have to take a pause at the mirror and stare back at ourselves to see it. And the same applies to the house we so much love to live in, the open-plan offices or the beautiful promenades. They’re all changing. And to see it, we might just have to look out of our windows.
Architecture is the vast canvas that is ever-changing. It colors, strokes, and designs with each passing day. Because it is about people. And people change. So do the bricks, glass, and doors that they live in. As long as humanity is existing on this face of the earth. Evolution will keep happening. And there will be a constant need to rethink; anything and everything.
As the father of evolution had quoted years back and it still holds true that:
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” – Charles Darwin, 1809