Sensory Architecture of Tomorrow

Sustainability has emerged or arguably is emerging and perhaps as the nature of progression of our race, will always be on the verge of emerging. Sustainability cannot be a fad or a trend but has to be a general way of life across all disciplines, including design and architecture. As much as green assessing platforms, consultancy services flourish, buildings are now being marketed on the basis of sustainability performance (brilliant way forward); governmental and nodal agencies, media, and corporations seem to like the idea of assessing the quality of the built environment through a green lens. While all this is a great leap forward for us and not just being Vaastu complaint, buildings now need to have a certain amount green shastra to make sure the building is also contributing to the ecological balance.

Amongst all this, how green will the future of architecture be? Our homes, buildings, colonies and cities? Well if reports and studies are to be believed as you will read on, we seem to be in good hands or err.. tests, exciting architectural trends are giving us hope that life in the neighbourhood can be all comfortable, super savvy, look sexy and do good to nature as well.


Nanyang Technical University in Singapore

The construction industry is an ever-evolving one, paving the way for a future in which even the spatial concepts invented and enjoyed in the last decade are no longer valid. Imagine, compost is being used for building materials? Human interfaced architecture, crowdfunding and collaborative design have become increasingly popular concepts in architectural projects, greater emphasis on the importance of green infrastructure and energy efficiency, and the gap between public and private spaces is fading out.
We dwell on what’s left of my thoughts below.

The Sustainability Treehouse – Image by Joe Fletcher

Of tech more tech and ologies*.

Increasingly around the world experiments around technology in architecture and their results are quite positive. VR, 3D architecture, Internet of spaces, architecture robots, phew.
Imagine Iron-man meets Matrix scenario where you have enough information (and most times more) than you need to manoeuvre around your building. Visual, artificial, sound and all other types of sensory data are available either on your phone or your ear/eyepiece? that’s the future we are looking at. Voice controlled with polarised glasses and the works that make today’s selling points of wifi enabled buildings sound outdated. All these sensory devices passing so much data and creating interactive real-life experiences all on most times that will work on your thoughts and clicks (or maybe even cognitive?). All these will surpass the current mode of shared workspaces and co-living and take it to whole new meaning and relevance. Move over internet of things, immersive and experiential internet of spaces is what we are looking at here.

Another game changer that’s been around the horizon is 3D printing. We’ve seen some remarkable progress on this front and this promising nature will enable a more efficient environment with the mix of an architecture of robots and 3D printing. Turnaround time, structural efficiency to modular construction everything will turn more time saving and cost effective in the longer term.
Did I hear what will we humans do then? Well, there will be enough and more to do, a new age and collaboration of a different kind with robots will make most things more mechanised and Humans can perhaps do greater things in design and art maybe.

First fully functioning 3D printed building – Executive offices of the Dubai Future Foundation

Talking about collaboration- The future stand wherein an architect will remain only in the role of a mere design house and outsource collaborations of different and all kinds with robots to carry out more specialised roles like that of water efficiency, structural magnetics and electronics. These are the new roles that will come up and it will be the era of super specialisation. Partnerships then would mean getting highly specialised careers together with architects and all of them working together to create masterpieces. Masterpieces are more so going to in cities that are more vertical going forward as already seen and building will be more parametric, which implies that algorithmic thinking will enable the expression of parameters and rules that, together, define, encode and clarify the relationship between design intent and design response* (wiki), if I understood this phenomenon correctly, there will be no boundaries in building any kind of structure, and will make our buildings both more user friendly and more responsive in terms of design and use.

Hyperion Towers New Delhi – Designed by Architect Vincent Callebaut – To be up by 2020

Some challenges I think might be here that my not so architecturally sound brain can think of are if these cities which are going to be vertical, as we all know density population will always increase and with the shortage of livable land, where are the public spaces going to go? Perhaps then the answer again is collaborative use of space and getting more out of the space? The social places will perhaps serve many purposes?

Note from the Author: ” I’m not an architect, but a curious individual who loves to travel, read and explore; also a general stalker of phenomena. I write to express my inspiration from my experiences.”



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