Looking back on architecture and how it has evolved over the years is astounding. On a day-to-day basis, we usually come across a phrase – “Modern problems require modern solutions”. Over the years, the built environment has been a myriad of things. It has been comfortable, royal, elegant, brutal, vernacular, modern, etc. 

From the ancient Greek and Roman architecture to the Ziggurats and the Pyramids in Egypt, from the Byzantine architecture to Gothic, Romanesque & Pre-Romanesque (Medieval), from Renaissance to Baroque, from Neo-classical to Modernist, and from Post-modernist to Deconstructivism – All these changes are not just changes in style but are a paradigm shift that takes over and caresses the culture of the time. 

Architecture in all its glory has shown us its capacity to reflect its existence, beauty and spirit of time through the eras. It is just as immortal as art. In the years coming up ahead, the future of architecture would be an echo of our generation’s epoch.

 To determine the future of architecture, our focus first has to be the determining factors that would lie as a basis to it all. With the advancement in science and technology, construction techniques are changing as well as adding a new edge to how life is lived. The population is on the increase whilst the planet is facing a crisis, global warming. 

In this age of changing cultural trends and the introduction of Big Data, architects have exposure to many questions that now have an answer for generating better design solutions. These answers will shape the future of Architecture and the built environment – in recent years as well as the way ahead. 

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Illustration showing what Sustainable architecture is. Source – Architects4design.com(https://architects4design.com/what-is-sustainable-architecture/)


Sustainable and Eco-friendly 

With Greenhouse gases taking over the ozone layer, global warming has been on the rise for years now. Apart from that, natural non-renewable resources are getting used up with the population boom. In the midst of all this, humankind needs to take a few steps back to pave their path towards a more green future – The smart cities. These refer to a sort of development whose foundation lays on sustainability. 

This is mainly done by prioritizing ecological transportation solutions, usage of renewable resources of energy, usage of readily and locally available construction materials, smart steps to reduce energy consumptions in a building, comprehensive acquisition to health, safety and security, public service analysis, etc. The architectural fraternity will have more access to maximize efficiency while taking care of the ecological impact on nature and the environment.

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The power of virtual reality – experiencing a space even when not physically present there. Source – Redshift, 4 Tips to get started with VR in architecture(https://redshift.autodesk.com/virtual-reality-in-architecture/)

Virtual Reality (VR)
Virtual Reality is a game-changer. Just imagine living in an artificial world where one can experience things by not even physically being there. It is usually done through various devices such as polarised glasses, headsets, HD projectors, computer graphics, wireless tracking technology and much more, to create an interactive, real-life experience. 

Architects can monitor and experience their designs even before the construction has started. It helps give a huge leap ahead in the projects, especially in their conceptual stage. Experiencing spaces will have gotten a new dimension with Virtual Reality coming into play.

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Illustration encapturing the wide array of diversity in users of any built environment Source – Billy Clarke, on Dribbble(https://dribbble.com/shots/10830816-Diversity)

Inclusive 

The future of designing will draw a lot of attention to making buildings that cater to people coming from all walks of life. Effective inclusion of different genders, castes, colours, physicality and socio-economic backgrounds will be incorporated in the design concepts. 

Apart from this, built environments will cater to the psychological needs of the people, and will target to make spaces which would involve all their senses come into play.  

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Visual render of one typology of vertical development that would take place in the future Source – David Phang, Arc Studio Architecture + Urbanism  (http://archnet.org/sites/7106/media_contents/83816)

Vertical dwellings

With the advancement in the medical field, life expectancy of people has increased and in the due course of years, the birth of the child has also been possible through different methods. So, on one hand, we are seeing a steep rise in population but on the other, the land remains the same as it has always been. Therefore, to make more habitable spaces, the option to take up is taking advantage of the verticality.  

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Future vision of architecture where social spaces merge with the living and work spaces. Source – yvetteliu, Extended dwellings, GSAPP Core III (https://yvetteliu.me/Extended-Dwellings)

Blurring the lines of Third Place

The third place refers to the social surrounding, which usually stays apart from the first place (home) and the second place (workspace). The millennial lifestyle which involves collaborative consumption and living is impacting housing and real estate all over the world. Platforms such as AirBnB and shared co-working spaces are coming into existence; it is changing the way an architectural design is approached. 

The concepts of co-living spaces, interconnectivity, inter-dependence, work-live-learn balance and the importance of public interactions will be devised with modern design principles.

A lot of practising architects also predict that the “starchitecture” will subtle down to be more humble, and will be more useful on a daily basis. There even would be a myriad of different materials that would be invented or even discovered. All these trends discussed above are right through rose-coloured spectacles and will come up in some form or another in the future. 

And even though human civilization’s research has reached Mars and is contemplating life and colonization on the planet, it is still a far-fetched run for the architectural fraternity.

Author

A small-town girl having lived the Metropolitan life that expanded her thoughts and outlooks, she is a freshly graduated Architect who likes to think of Architecture Journalism as a cerebral fantasy in creating spaces by moulding words. With a heart full of dreams and a head full of ideas, she believes that a holistic design traverses past the mind traps and redesigns perspectives.

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