Technology is disrupting the creative industry and it’s only getting better, and faster. Innovation in the architecture industry has never been as rampant as it is at this moment. The advent of artificial intelligence (AI) in architecture – the first genuine 21st-century design method – is changing the way buildings are imagined and designed. AI image generators like Midjourney and DALL-E provide an efficient and explorative way of conceiving architectural concepts. Generated in less than 5 minutes, these images unveil an interesting design aesthetic that is emerging. In an exclusive interview with ArchDaily, architect and educator Matias del Campo hypothesizes what the future of architectural aesthetics would be.
Everyone’s experience of a city is unique. Whether one is visiting a place for the first time or has lived there all their life, their experiences are shaped by their personal interactions with the built environment. Buildings, landscapes, and streets come together to offer an opportunity for sensory stimulation, however, most of them are unable to provide inspiration. While a city’s infrastructure accounts for livability, equal importance isn’t given to enjoyability. Play and games embedded in the city’s fabric can help improve user engagement with urban spaces.
The architectural practice has always been rooted in what people now call “human-centered design”. The term, coined by Irish engineer Mike Cooley in his 1987 publication “Human-Centred Systems” describes a design approach around identifying people’s needs and solving the right problem with simple interventions. Architecture balances between being aesthetic art and practical design. With multiple collaborators and goals for the project, the needs of the end-user often get compromised in the design process. To help architects better design for people, new methodologies may be inspired by human-centered design techniques developed by user experience (UX) designers.
In almost every Indian language, a colloquial term for “family” – ghar wale in Hindi, for example – literally translates to “the ones in (my) house”. Traditionally, Indian homes would shelter generations of a family together under one roof, forming close-knit neighborhoods of relatives and friends. The residential architecture was therefore influenced by the needs of the joint family system. Spaces for social interaction are pivotal in collective housing, apart from structures that adapt to the changing needs of each family. The nuanced relationship between culture, traditions, and architecture beautifully manifests in the spatial syntax of housing.
Beneath the Spaceship Earth geodesic sphere and the display of world cultures that symbolize Disney World’s EPCOT lies the buried vision for a utopian city. The original EPCOT – a community built around innovation – was one of Walt Disney’s last visionary projects. Bothered by haphazard urban sprawl, Disney had bold ideas for an urban fabric that would drive progress in the USA. The “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow” was Walt Disney’s antidote to the decay of American cities.
Indians have traditionally lived close to the earth, their cultures shaped by symbiotic relationships with ecosystems. Indian arts and crafts strongly rely on nature for its form, philosophy, and existence. Native landscapes aroused the artistic sensibilities of resident communities, evolving craft practices that met utilitarian and ritualistic needs. The intersectionality of ecology and culture is evident through ancestral forms of craft.
The Filipinos believe that man and woman first emerged from the nodes of a bamboo stalk. The Chinese view the cane as a symbol of their culture and values, reciting “there is no place to live without bamboo”. The plant is a symbol of prosperity in Japan and friendship in India. Along with myths and stories, strong structures made of bamboo flourished in pre-modern Asia. Built forms varied across the changing landscapes of Eastern countries, all sharing one aspect in common – a respect for natural ecosystems.
According to the World Happiness Report, Denmark has continually topped the survey of happiest countries for years. Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, is known for its brightly colored waterfront buildings and radical contemporary architecture, both reflecting the joyful ethos of the city. The maritime metropolis is an urban designer’s favorite case study with its carbon-neutral infrastructure, pedestrian and bike-friendliness, and thriving public realm. Danish designers have cracked the code to build happier cities, leaving plenty of models to learn from.
With the onset of the 2020s, Gen Z is noticeably claiming their place in the world with bold perspectives and even bolder aesthetics. Gen Z proudly experiments with their identities, having grown up on an opinionated internet and through confusing lockdowns. They’re bringing in a culture shift with organic shapes, colorful elements, and clashing patterns dominating art, media, fashion, and interior design. The trend is pushing away once-reigning minimalism, shouting Venturi’s Less is a Bore.
Humane cities center around the relationships between people and places. Communities thrive on shared resources, public spaces, and a collective vision for their locality. To nurture happy and healthy localities, citizens and designers apply methods of placemaking to the urban setting. Placemaking—the creation of meaningful places—strongly relies on community-based participation to effectively produce magnetic public spaces.