Will Architecture Exist in the Future?

I was once asked, what is your opinion about the future of architecture and architects. I always believed that any field with creativity measured has a bright future especially with all available technologies and the integration of profession. Architecture is changing rapidly and, in this article, I will discuss others’ opinions about the matter.

The role of architects is changing, as well as the advanced technologies. Architecture is one of the ancient professions that is developing slowly, and the profound fundamentals stayed the same. To be honest, this can be a little worrying and architects should take immediate action. The best way to adapt to that evolution is pushing ourselves and the boundaries of the profession.

In the UK, there is a quick demise of the mid-sized practice and shortfall of jobs, the research of RIBA claims that the architect’s profession could look very different in the near future. The Royal Institute of British Architects mentioned how the demands of a global economy have transformed business practice and the evolution of projects.

Traditional ways are no longer valid, spatial concepts as well. Compost materials are being used, crowdfunding and collaborative design have become the appropriate approaches in architecture. The line is thinning between private and public spaces, there is a focus on green infrastructure and energy efficiency. This is how technology is accelerating the architecture role at an incredible pace.

The long process

One of the issues that I want to highlight is the process from the concept to reality in architecture takes a long time. We can list the core tenets of the process to Interpreting the client, developing a solution, submitting for approval from the local building agency, conveying the design solution to the contractor via construction documents, and verifying the construction is true to the documents provided. The main core of the architect’s business would still be solution-based and focusing on problem-saving in the future.  The process will focus less on the drawing process of the construction documents, and more likely on innovation solutions.

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Architects practice now and then

The other issue is the barrier that architects made with other professions such as planning and urban design. It is highlighted that practitioner architects need to expand their definition of what the title means. Many non-architects have made their own brand and created their own brand to their main practice to avoid the use of the ‘architect’ term. This helped to enter a diverse market such as lighting, product design, and community consultation which many formal architects can not involve in these areas because of the use of their title. The impact made by non-architects’ practices is significant, especially on the built environment. Also, clients are more sophisticated nowadays and they need more conventional methods, luckily technology is advancing allowing a higher level of information to be easily conveyed.

everything possible / Shutterstock.com

The impact of a globalizing economy, the exploding information capability, and the cultural confusion are among the things architects need to respond to. Not by far, architects used to be undisputed bosses, but it is more vulnerable now more than ever. Many graduates seem to see this as an opportunity to fulfill the professional institutions to create the conditions which will optimize their chances.

What about the advancement in technology?

Technology plays an important role in shaping architecture, especially with the market’s significant speed increase. There are some companies that started to deliver logistical material via Maps for quicker and more efficient construction methods. We are looking to online firms like DIRTT and Katerra that ignored the traditional ways in design to create drawings by the implementation of advanced technology, they managed to create whole new methods in architecture and logistical standpoints.

Some research suggests that in the near future, there will be no need for individuals checking of construction documents. Digital outputs like BIM (building information technology) will assist in many aspects like regenerative design, renewability, cost, and app-based maintenance programs. The whole process will be shorter and human error will be reduced.

What is the future of architecture as a profession?

As architects, we need to focus on the end-user experience to adapt to the rapid advancement of the market, programmed space, and construction efficiency. We need to adapt while maintaining beautiful designs, there will be more emphasis on how a building operates and supports the end-users, and their overall experience. We need to understand that ego has been always driven by the achievement of architecture history. Nowadays, we are shifting toward performance and building functionality for client’s needs, we need to adapt that. There is a need to find the balance between form and function, time will only tell how the new adaptation will be.

Source of material:

www.medium.com/studiotmd/emerging-trends-that-will-shape-the-future-of-architecture-356ba3e7f910   

www.bdcnetwork.com/blog/what-future-architecture-profession

www.dirtt.com/projects/government/

www.dezeen.com/2011/03/07/will-architects-exist-in-2025-riba-building-futures/#:~:text=One%20large%20practice%20felt%20that,and%20skills%20by%20having%20access

Planning and Design Impact on Diseases

Architects and designers are the main role in any construction and became more needed as the industry grows. They have always tried to come up with sustainable designs to avoid any unhealthy spaces generated by the integration of natural air and proper ventilation. In this research, people have turned into healthcare systems to seek urgent treatment and protection that most likely to be insufficient during any major outbreak and it can be shown from big cities who have been hit the most by COVID-19. Infectious diseases were not the only outbreak in the last years, as history shown that such events might occur in the future. The study suggests utilizing an infectious disease surveillance system which can be integrated into our building design to avoid any future outbreak might occur. A study published by (Wang, Jin, Xiong, Tu, & Ye, 2017) discussed the importance of early warning of diseases outbreak and infectious disease surveillance data for disease prevention and control. Community-based surveillance is one of the essential according to target site especially in high-risk population areas (Lan, Zhou, Zhang, & Lai, 2017).

South Korea emission of NO2 after and before COVID-19 outbreak
Sentinel-5P, 1 Feb–17 Mar 2019

Design regulations pay more attention to fire alarms and emergency exits rather than healthcare and disease surveillance. As the population grows, transportations and buildings advance in developed countries which puts the risk of infectious outbreaks anytime. This study suggests the integration of surveillance and monitoring systems in and future or existing design to reduce the numbers of future outbreaks and to save lives. Although sustainable design is an essential factor to improve any space’s design, there is a need regulation that enables the use of healthcare guidelines into our design. It is evident that the expansion of transportation and population have increased the spread of viral diseases in a very short time, which is why we need urgent attention to our healthcare systems.

Healthy Cities

When we discuss diseases and factors that affect humans, we cannot isolate architecture and the built environment. Over the years, architecture has been one of the most growing elements in the cities and any country development is measured by it, the fact that most countries are proud of the development and the rapid growth of their businesses. Healthy cities are continually creating and enhancing the physical activities and social environments that to expand resources that enable people to support each other and maximizing their potential. WHO listed the aims of a healthy city:

  • To create a health-supportive environment
  • To achieve a good quality air
  • To provide basic sanitation and hygiene needs
  • To supply access to health care

That being said, it is essential to provide good infrastructure to achieve this level of a healthy city rather than focusing on improving the political, economic and social arenas(“WHO | Healthy Cities,” 2019)

Galway Healthy Cities, which has been a member of the World Health Organization (WHO) European Healthy Cities since 2006, aims to establish an effective program that puts the health and social-economic and political agenda of all agencies. One of their main themes is to strengthen communities by building supportive healthy urban planning and design that includes housing and regeneration and so on(Galway Healthy Cities Projects, 2018). Although the organization’s main aim is Galway City, it purposes an initiative framework that helps designers to promote urban planning and tackling public health priorities.

The research of (Davies & Kelly, 2014) highlighted the importance of healthy cities and the need for multiple instruments to evaluate the strategies, the research also talked about the qualitative non-oriented approaches to evaluate the outcome. It was until the nineteenth century that realizes how important the provision of roads, housing and water supplies and the focus of medical attention in a modern way; the rapid industrial revolution and urbanization that resulted in human factory waster and pollution.