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How is architecture dealing with the modern issues?

Updated: Oct 11, 2020

In the last 10 years, the field of architecture has been put forward due to climate change and the increase in population around the world. Climate change challenges architecture in two main ways. The rise of the sea levels and the rise in temperatures. While the population multiplies, there is less and less land to use and inhabit, which leads to increase in density. As for the consequence of global warming, it accelerates finding sustainable solutions for ventilations. Thankfully with the advance in technology, architects and engineers are now able to find solutions for both of these issues.

The southern countries have already been putting in practice new or readapted ventilation systems. Masdar City, in United Arab Emirates, uses traditional lattice windows in combination with new technologies to reduce air conditioning.

As for the northern countries, they have been focusing on adding greenery into their cities to lower the carbon foot print. Some of the designs have been created others are still a bit futuristic. In 2014, Boeri Studios completed the Vertical Forest in Milan, Italy.

In 2015, the architecture firm Vincent Callebaut, designed what Paris could look like by 2050, which merged green towers into the current city.

In counter act of the rising sea levels, the same architecture firm also imagined a design of a miniture city able to float, just like a Lily pad, thus the name of the project.

Another challenge is the increase in population. How does society and architecture deal with it? Density, which is impacted by three factors. One, the natural population growth. Two, migrations, where people either come to the cities to find work or immigrations, where people flee from a disadvantaged country to a more appealing one. And finally, family situations that now require two homes rather than one. These factors result in providing more logging but smaller spaces per habitant in order to allow people being grouped in the cities while having enough land to cultivate.

In my opinion, the year 2020 is on a good path and I imagine that the year 2050 will see more and more sustainable designs, and if technology and finance allow it, I belive we could start seeing bigger and more accomodations or even small villages floating on water. However, I still think it is a long way down the road for resilient cities as finances lack to modify and update cities which need better quality of life. The Pandemic probably did not help the financial aspect as the government and the cities have to help in priority the people and businesses that suffered from it. This crises did allow to re-think design hygene and imagine new ways to accommodate the population living with the virus. For example, the designers Aviointeriors came up with a new interior design for airplanes.

The architects working environment has been alternated during lockdown. The relationship between the architect or the architecture student and the digital age became stronger. The use of programs on iPads became more known such as Morpholio Trace or Concepts, amongst many others.

Lectures and events in the architecture community also had to be adapted or postponed. For example, the Venice 17th Architectural Biennale of 2020 has been postponed until 2021. Nevertheless, The President Paolo Baratta and the curator of the 17th International Architectural Exhibition Hashim Sarkis presented the subject that will be covered and the dispositions it will take.

Here is a link to their presentation:

The Biennale aims each year to make people aware of the changes in the world and open a window onto the future to show what it will probably look like.

This year’s theme couldn’t be more on point. It targets on how people will co-habitat in link with their differences in wealth and their political ideas.

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