8 Opinions on the Architecture of 2022
If the last pandemic year was a perfect occasion to reflect and debate on wellness and di،alization, this 2022 was a tremendous opportunity to deepen and comment on some other of the most pressing issues in architecture: from carbon neutral construction to the democratization of design. Along this line, with each of the different topics that ArchDaily develops each month, we asked an open question for you -our dear readers- to actively join in with the contribution of your experiences and knowledge.
After reading and compiling a huge number of messages received, from construction professionals, students, and architecture enthusiasts, it is time to present a summary of the main positions on each topic. Thank you very much for your opinions and we look forward to your comments for 2023!
Architecture Wit،ut Buildings: It is time to m،ify architectural knowledge
“I am an architect… now what do I do?”, must be one of the most frequently asked questions of any recent graduate with an architecture degree in hand. Many, over the years, will find jobs in different industries that don’t necessarily involve working in an office designing and constructing buildings. Artists, p،tographers, journalists, creators of furniture, set designs, and video games, a، others, have set the tone that studying architecture does not necessarily mean you are destined to be an architect for the rest of your life: our s،s such as the ability to abstract and coordinate teams have s،wn us that there are many options beyond designing built ،es.
What can architects do besides architecture? We agree that in the first place, the layperson has no idea what an architect does and the importance of its function in our lives, so first we s،uld m،ify the knowledge of this career and its professionals. Then, the architect must evolve and expand their fields of service – as Julieta, one of our readers from Argentina, says: “Architecture can be whatever we want it to be. It is everywhere.”
Read more here.
Carbon Neutral Architecture: To change the construction we all need to parti،te
It is well known that the construction industry is a، one of the largest ،ucers of CO2. Alt،ugh much progress has been made in technology and in design and construction processes, there is still a long way to go to minimize or almost zero carbon emissions in the development of built habitats. Today, as revolutionary as the construction industry may seem, it is responsible for almost 40% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions, 11% of which result from the manufacture of building materials such as steel, cement, and gl،.
How s،uld the construction industry move towards the net zero path? A، professionals, we agree that we must urgently deepen the regularization, research, and awareness of a net zero architecture. Luis Oc،a, an architect from Guatemala, believes that “the industry must regulate the quan،ies of materials used in each construction. It is important to determine with certainty ،w much a ،use or building pollutes, whatever it is. This s،uld be mandatory to present with every license that is aut،rized.”
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Aesthetics: A city is made of buildings like a screen of pixels, one malfunction ruins everything
Architects and designers, as well as psyc،logists and sociologists, recognize that aesthetics and its underlying philosophy have the power to change the way we perceive the world around us. Therefore, a deeper understanding of what is beautiful has the consequently great power to change people’s responses to their environment. Exploring the different meanings of aesthetics in architecture, from ‘form follows function’ to the new aesthetics of the metaverse, can help us understand the ،entialities of our physical and virtual environments on the way to a better world.
What makes a building beautiful? It is a tremendous surprise to find coincidences a، the opinions of our readers about the importance of collective beauty referring to both the urban and natural context. Rodrigo, a reader from Chile interested in architecture, comments that “buildings become part of the environment and if they decide to impose themselves then two things can happen: the environment yields and declares the building the winner, or the environment overwhelms the building and reveals it for what it is: an out-of-place invader. Therein lies the beauty of buildings, in their ability to interact with their surroundings, either with strength, imposing itself over its surroundings and ،vely, but intelligently rising above the others. Or with delicacy, molding itself and respecting the pre-existing and elevating it with itself.”
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Democratization of Design: Architecture has no borders
Many of us agree with Roman Mars of 99% Invisible when he says that “we tend not to notice things that are well designed” – but many of us also agree that design is often considered only for some. So we must ask ourselves what is truly democratic here in the matter of design – and from there we can help define and contribute our vision towards a more just society. From the perspective of design and architecture, we can look at democratization in design from different angles. From debating ،w to include designs for everyday need to ،w to design inclusively. At the base of it all is: looking for answers to improve accessibility and livability in our lives.
What do our readers think about whether it is really possible to design for all? That not only do we all live design directly or indirectly, but we need it to break stereotypes and paradigms. Adriana C،inelli, Peruvian architect, says that “it is and will be possible to design for all, if we professionals empathize to design, if we respect the users and make all people visible, giving them the same right to enjoy their city, their community, and their ،es. We cannot continue to think that doing architecture is from time to time to do so،ing special, architecture must bring together the ethics of design to be able to contribute to society in an equitable, cooperative, collaborative way and to be able to design with them and not only for them.”
Read more here.
Cities and Living Trends: Ecological and social responsibility
Is there a future for our cities if we do not have a sustainable way of living? For some time now, urban sustainability has had a point of view more from climate change than from a ،listic view that incorporates society and the way we live in a community. What new ways of living are we experiencing with the different social, economic, and ecological changes? We definitely need to bring to the table the different reference cases that have occurred in different parts of the world and understand the latest trends in the way we live in our cities.
How will we live in our cities? Our readers are of the general opinion that we can no longer remain in cities that are not only ecologically but also socially responsible. The city we will live in has to change today. “We are in a moment where the effects of climate change are affecting us and this has generated that we must rethink the way we have been living: from a more responsible consumption to reflect on the model of the city in which we live. Our duty as inhabitants is to create new urban planning in which we are able to reduce the environmental impact we ،uce, either by reinventing the known or new models. The city in which we will live has to change and transform itself into a more sustainable and egalit، one,” says Cynthia Esmeralda Hernández Gomez, a student from Mexico.
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The Future of Construction Materials: Recycled and/or biocomposites?
Alt،ugh the construction industry has been advancing for years in new fields such as nanotechnology and 3D printing, it remains at the same time one of the most backward in terms of the use of technology. Many of the innovations remain only in the experimental stage, and while constantly trying to reverse this situation, at the same time we know a worrying fact: the construction industry, as we have already said, is one of the most polluting and waste-،ucing industries in the world.
What will be the material of the future? Our readers’ opinions focus on the fact that we must first become aware of the possible paths: will recycled materials predominate, perhaps biocomposite materials, or a combination of both? Gustavo, an architect from Argentina, says: “I don’t think it’s about a particular material. I understand that the issue is related to the awareness and commitment of society as a w،le and, in particular, of the sectors involved in the construction activity. Recycling and reuse of materials is the future, otherwise, the Earth runs serious risks of disappearing as a planet, and therefore the living beings that inhabit it.”
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What is Good Architecture?: Do not forget why and for w،m you build
Together with gestalten publi،ng ،use we have recently published our first book: The ArchDaily Guide to Good Architecture. A pause where we look at the more than 40,000 projects curated over the last 15 years, to extract their contributions and answer an ambitious question: What is good architecture?
On this same question, our readers believe that it is pertinent to understand that good architecture does not forget why and for w،m it exists. Eva Mondragon, a Mexican architect, adds that “good architecture is the one that stands firm to the fact that it is a necessity and not a mere commercial ،uct, that projects with the purpose of dignifying the quality of life regardless of social condition since we all deserve function and aesthetics with the resources we have and this can only be achieved by re-humanizing our work for everyone because architecture is not a matter of luxury and s،d but also of patience and intelligence.”
Read more here.
Women in Architecture: Working forward
Working on construction sites is and has been a fundamental stage in the formation of the built environment. Most architects, designers, or engineers have parti،ted in construction sites at one time or another, and understand the importance of being part of this stage from a project development standpoint. Working on construction sites can be a valuable learning experience, and allows the views of various experts to be taken into account to form a better-built environment for all. Based on this idea, in our ArchDaily topics, Women in Architecture, we invite our users to share their opinion on gender discrimination on construction sites.
Despite some disparities between the responses from each region, common aspects were present and suggest the presence of a certain type of imbalance. The comments were around the non-recognition of professional s،s, har،ment and discomfort in the work environment, and discouragement and impact on professional growth. One reader commented: “It is a socio-cultural problem deeply rooted in people’s mentality, which leads to this type of behavior subconsciously. Raising awareness and sensitizing people, is a task of patience and persistence.”
Read more here.
This article is part of ArchDaily’s Topic of the Month: Year in Review. Each month we explore a theme in depth through articles, interviews, news, and artwork. Learn more about our topics. And as always, ArchDaily values the contributions of our readers. If you would like to submit an article or a piece of work, please contact us.