I was reading the other day a very interesting article. Very clever architects from around the world came together with the idea of proclaiming ideas that will change the future of architecture and thereof, our lives. I wanted to share such dignified initiative with the intention of provoking you to look into the future and imagine a new architecture with such characteristics.
The first idea that struck me most profoundly was that:
Design will remove the stigma of aging
Traditionally, homes have been designed for young, healthy adults, but not for people with disabilities, chronic illness, or simply aging users. As baby boomers age and take care of their parents, they and their children are beginning to recognize the need for housing to be designed to support all stages of life of an individual. Over the next years, designers will use design as a tool to compliment aging. New legislation in Spain and the rest of the EC is enforcing the simple idea that we will not stay young and agile forever. Slowly but surely, knees will ache when climbing stairs and backs when picking objects from the floor this is irremediably but none will accept these facts when they come to the studio to have a nice villa designed before they get married.
Offices will be our cathedrals and playgrounds
We will work more for less. I heard this prophesy from one of these new emergent political parties and slowly but surely is becoming a cruel reality. The work place will become the space where we will spend most of our time. That’s why offices will have to be more like cathedrals and playgrounds. Cathedrals, where we can worship our gods and playgrounds where we can relax for short period of time to be able to carry on working for longer periods of time without having to go back home. Most new airports and hospitals have chapels where we can pray and in Google central offices have relax spaces to play table tennis, skate or just take a nap…..
Greater empathy in design
An empathetic understanding of how people experience a space if not the product will become more important than the user. With an aging population, those elements that may need help but do not necessarily want them … for example; an alert bracelet is something to protect the user in case of an accident or illness. But nobody wants a reminder that we are irremediably aging so fast. The design of both products and buildings should respect the emotions of the user and their needs.
The internet of “things” will become the internet of “spaces”
The ‘internet of things’ refers to technologies like Nest y Fitbit, but one does not create a “smart object” simply by putting on a circuit board and connect it to the network. There will also be major ramifications for the way we design products and spaces. The converging requirements aged between baby boomers and millennial technological lead designers to focus on the point where product design and architecture intersect, they shall inform each other to create better results.
Interactive furniture and much more
There will be new design tools to help designers create experiences in “technological craft ‘for consumers that go beyond” beautiful “pixels.” Most of the tools we use today have their roots in two-dimensional conventional static media, and they were created during the revolution of “desktop publishing” of the 80’s and 90`s. We will see more “hybrid” programming tools that intertwine with the design.
If our thermostats is able to provide us with information and learn from us, why couldn’t do the same our armchairs or conference rooms? Increasingly omnipresent sensing technology, coupled with mechanical automation and high-tech materials, will allow furniture and environments to effortlessly respond to and support the people using them. Your lounge chair will know how soft or firm you like your pillows, and automatically readjust for your partner. The conference room could tell you you’re having a bad meeting, and give you tips for turning it around or to improve it next time….. Scary?
The walls of design will crumble
As every new working architectural idea becomes connected through digital data with other professionals over the next five years, we’ll see a crumbling of the walls between graphic designers, technologists, interfaces designers, and so on. In fact it is happening now, in our studio we spend more time talking to the software developer than to the architectural engineer.
The cross-platform experiences of the future, is here now. Everyone’s brains is meld together into software programmes that we use to draw which is interconnected with the software programme that we us e to calculate the energy efficiency of our buildings, which it is interconnected with the programme that calculate the structure etc. etc.. I see that this is the way things will continue to happen in the future; the distinction between industrial design, digital design, and system design will continue to blur.
The rise of the self-educated designer
Self-learning options for designers in architecture will outpace offerings from universities and colleges. Because the knowledge required to design in the medium of technology continues to expand and evolve, real-time learning will be more important than what a college course can teach in a hermetically sealed form within the span of a semester or quarter. By condensing the practical knowledge future architects will not need to spend seven years in studying architecture, if really needed the full architectural course could be condensed to three but the architect will be required to interact with the existing and future architectural software. The most difficult subject been aesthetics but even that subject could be learned by learning proportions within the experience forms of 3D visual space.
Hello, CEO, goodbye architect?
More and more, individuals trained in architecture will hold leadership positions. But not all will be qualified. It will always take a broad understanding of architectural business and the vision and strength to make it into a success. But strong business skills combined with design training and talent will become a potent combination. Not all of the future architects will be successful, but a few will. Those chosen few will combine an architectural business insight and the talent to merge digital information with good business sense.
Design will be imposed by “Big Brother”.
There will be a rise in large tech companies taking a greater point of view with respect to design. This is not dissimilar to what occurred in the automobile industry as it began to mature the famous point when Henry Ford refused to sell variations in the only colour that mattered, compared with GM, which diversified its designs to appeal to larger populations. The only differences now day is that the future architecture will develop from Google’s efforts to show the world what it is considered as “good architecture” more and more people will ask the “Big Brother” to show images for “beautiful architecture” and from its listing they will select what they consider the best.
Our clients come to our studio with predefined ideas of the design for their future house from searches done in Google and this will not only continue so but it will increase in the future.
From sustainable to regenerative
To end up with a good note on energy efficiency it is true that the EC and therefore Spain are propping up the standard of sustainability by legislating tougher and tougher regulations so that architects will set higher goals for their architecture and therefore for an enhanced environmental condition. With the net zero-energy building initiative, a reality for the year 2020 (just around the corner) any residential or commercial building shall greatly reduced its energy needs through efficiency gains such that the balance of energy needs will only be supplied with renewable energies.
All of our future building five years from now will have to be self efficient in energy and no non-renewable energy will be used in the future. Can we achieve this goal? Well I personally don’t know as the challenge is complicated, but at least our leaders are doing something about the global energy problem and setting future high standards for architects to work for.