Hi dear friends, 

Long time no see? Perhaps, but now that the first semester of CEGEP (college) is finally over and winter break has started, the time I now have on my hands finally permitted me to post a few new articles. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I had fun writing them :). This article is a presentation I had to do for my humanities class where we had to talk about a subject that has both a scientific and artistic aspect. And of course, expect no less, I talked about the future of architecture, as it is one of my greatest passions. 

Small disclaimer: the first sentences of the introduction are a bit similar to one of my past articles about how to fight against climate change (I’m telling you just in case you’ve already read that one), but that’s all. Also, keep in mind that this ended up being a 25 minutes presentation, going over the time allotted (although the class and teacher loveeeeed it and didn’t mind), so I couldn’t go on forever… sadly 😉 

A good idea would be: As you read, look at the photos I added to the article to get a better idea of what I’m talking about (stronglyyyyy recommended). 

In the last few decades, many people have been concerned about environmental degradation, but not many acted.

The lack of education and laws made by the government in relation to the environmental problem gives us too much power and freedom that we don’t use properly. The ignorance of individuals about this problem results in the excessive waste of our natural resources. The polluting emissions of companies deteriorate our source of water, air and soil.

Soon, the consequences will worsen, and we will be left with nothing. The weakening of the ozone layer, global warming, deforestation, poisoning of the flora, the disappearance of animal species, the reduction of clean water, episodes of smog, the increase of acid precipitations, the melting of glaciers, and the increase of diseases in the population are just some of the consequences that will bring the destruction of our world. And you’re probably like, wow Irene that’s extreme… but is it? All the facts are sadly aligning in this direction and will continue to do so if nothing is done.

By the year 2050, 68% of the population is projected to live in urban areas. Cities are not prepared for this as they have congestion, crime, a housing crisis. 

So it is no surprise that now, more than ever, humanity needs to evolve sustainably and in a way that answers our needs. 


This is where architecture comes in. The construction industry still accounts for 23% of air pollution, 50% of climatic change, 40% of drinking water pollution, and 50% of landfill waste. 

I wanted to be an architect since I was 4 years old and have my own company. I would like to implement new technologies and materials and be part of a new architectural era, in order to do my contribution to the world. 


A little disclaimer: The future of architecture is well, obviously not settled, although many are making calculated guesses on the direction it could head. Today, I will only be scratching the surface of this broad subject a little bit and will bring a few solutions that I’ve found. So just keep in mind that there are many more solutions, thankfully, and this is what makes it so exciting. So this is only to spike interest in you guys. 


Now, a little bit of a sidebar, in architecture at university, after the deadline of a project, the class and teacher gather around can basically decapitate that one hopeful project which only had the intention to be revolutionary. And you may think that that is cruel, but if you think about it, we cannot afford to oversaturate this industry any longer with nice projects that don’t have a backbone. Everything needs to be calculated and improved to the point of perfection, for utility but also for security reasons. 

And this ritual my friends, we shall do, or rather I will do it for you and you will observe. 

Le Corbusier, we talked about him in class, had honourable ideas, but at times, they were very marginalized. Separating cities into sections could create dead zones throughout the day.  If you work late, going to your office alone, could be kind of dangerous in a dead street. Same with residential areas, during certain hours, there’s nobody on the street because all the restaurants and bars that would be open late would be in a separate section. That’s why we design cities that have a wide variety of buildings and that aren’t separated in that way – having a constant flow of activity and eyes on the streets.

Moving on. Let’s take a quickkk look at the capsule pods in Japan. Now I won’t talk too much about the policies and all the reviews because there are two parts of the spectrum. But honestly, in my personal opinion, this just makes me rather uncomfortable and claustrophobic. It also looks dystopian, lacks personality can be a breeding ground for disease. I don’t even want to think about what a problem with ventilation could bring. And if not well isolated, you would just hear all alarms…. And snores. And there’s always the thought, what if the door doesn’t unlock? It makes me think of a world where people would only be preoccupied with the constant cycle of work, sleep, work sleep. It’s almost Kafkaesque, like Gregor Samsa in Metamorphosis, who turned into a bug because he was too altruistic when helping his family and ended up alienating himself. We are almost like (whisper trigger warning) *show bugs in drawers picture*. I can only begin to imagine the psychological impact builds like this would have on us.

Now, the line, we already mentioned it a few classes back and watched an introduction video on it, so I won’t show a video on it. But let’s really look at it with more depth. It first seems like a nice idea right? I mean, its grandiosity and mentioned features try to send across a positive, modern message… or so it seems. In reality, there are so many things wrong with it, without even beginning to think of ethics. From an architectural point of view, it’s not great. It is estimated that the cost will reach 1 trillion American dollars to make this, and it wouldn’t be a far fetch, saying that this could be exceeded. If the focus really is on green technology, then why does this line, literally cut through the middle of the natural habitat? It looks like it’s forcing its way, instead of living in harmony with the surroundings. When natural habitats are fragmented like this, spiciest stop migrating, it kills off weaker species, it limits genetic diversity, and it creates inbreeding which creates genetic disorders. As seen in the project, there are no wildlife corridors to let the animals pass and reach the water. And this project is in the desert but there are still thousands of plant species and animals like snakes, lizards, turtles, and sand cats….Not so sustainable and eco-friendly anymore huh? This 170 km giant mirror wall is going to significantly increase the temperature on each side because of the light that will be reflected. Everything around it will be fried. Not to mention birds flying into it. Also, organic cities grow, so is the line just going to keep extending? Or do you add perpendicularly, which in that case, wouldn’t be a line anymore? Also, who is going to live at the top and who will live at the bottom? Is this going to be Titanic 2.0 and if there’s a catastrophe, will they simply close the entrances on the side, meaning people can’t escape? There are also going to be some serious lateral stability issues and in case of an earthquake… you can only imagine, which means that braces or outside supports will have to be installed, changing the original look of the project. And the temperature of the desert can reach up to 55*C, so imagine how much energy will be used, considering that the top remains open at all times. And if you play with the shades, then how is all the just greenery going to grow? I mean, unless they find a way to geometrically bend sun rays, I don’t see this as very possible. And this is all funded by an authoritarian controversial government that won’t shy away from using force if they are put in the wrong light. How will it be governed, what will happen to the already non-existent women’s rights there? And these are only just to name a few of the mannnyyy problems. All enormous sums of money should help improve the already existing infrastructure in the poorer parts of the country, instead of creating this project on the ground where a tribe of native people already live on.

Then there are the spectacular mountains of Neom which are said to host the Winter Olympics, made by the same team. They are a true beacon of creativity, but with many underlying practical problems. Can you imagine the cost it would take to make this? And the energy?! I mean, it is something, but why not celebrate and make use of the nature that we already have around us instead? In a deteriorating world, does it really make sense to create artificial nature, when we have such beautiful flora that we should protect? 


I am very glad that so many critics are emerging and that this project’s true intentions are not brushed off into ignorance. Tens of articles, at least, are published on popular sites like Dezeen, with their critics. 


So you’re probably thinking, ok Irene, so what do you think should be done then? Well I’m glad you asked, ehem hahah

You may remember the shortly mentioned movie: Ex Machina, when we were talking about Artificial intelligence. On top of its complexity, did you know that the setting was an actual real place, more precisely, a hotel called Juvet Landscape in Norway?  The architects made very minimal interventions to the site, making it overall very sustainable and symbolic. For example, look at this wall, this giant rock, rather than being removed, was integrated into the room, and the window was “built” around it. 

This all reminds me of the house in Pennsylvania, That Frank Lloyd Wright designed, which had the same mentality; coexisting in nature, building around it instead of fighting it. 

Now let’s talk about tallll buildings. If you have a wind of 10 km/h hitting the bottom of a building, the top of that building could easily receive 70 or 80 km of wind power. For example, at the top of the Burj Kalifa, the tallest building in the world, it’s 200km. This is where torque comes in, outside bracing could be a solution. We could also implement Frank Lloyd Wright’s concept on the mile-high tower, making a building denser at the bottom, and then it tapers at the top. But the problem with this is that you need to make the bottom so big in order to get a smaller top which would not be very economical to drop so much mass. So one new solution by Calatrava in Dubai, which is going to be the tallest tower in the world, (instead of bracing it), they’ve got cables attached throughout the building to hold it when it sways. Which not only magnificently holds up the tower, but it’s also quite the sight.

An important kind of architecture that should be used more often is haptic architecture. It is well represented in the movie Inception. For example, a businessman notices that he is in a dream because the rug he knows doesn’t have the same usual texture as he knows it, although the rest looks the same. Throughout the movie, you’re constantly reminded that dreams are not all about the visuals but about the feelings. When we sleep our brains work more holistically, activating neutrons for smell, touch, and sound, and this is why we are able to recreate impossible environments so quickly. 

So haptic architecture is meant to be felt through the five senses by using natural materials or textures or by manipulating light or nature and by doing this, our experience of this place becomes stronger, and you feel like it can become a part of you. 


The Blame! Manga barely has any dialogue but since the author went to Parsons, he knew exactly how to set the mood. We can feel the same things that the main character is feeling just by looking at the architecture surrounding him.

Now something very exciting is the creation of new materials. Here I will show you a few practical and eco-friendly ideas. (Show pics)

  • the use of bio concrete that heals its own cracks
  • Organic fabric made from banana peels green rooftops
  • Newspaper wood
  • Mycellium bricks
  • Bricks made from cigarette butts
  • Mushroom glue for cement
  • Banana fabric
  • Smarter windows power up with nanotechnology
  • Coolest White: A Painting to Reduce the Urban Heat Islands by 12%
  • Solar panels ( they have been around for a while but are still important to show).


Ok now, I want to show you a few excellent examples that should be closely analyzed and followed by future architects, in my opinion. (It’s better to look at the pictures in the article in order to get a better understanding of what I’m talking about)

  • the Arc, green school in Indonesia
  • Singapore green airport
  • Family box, Sako architects China Beijing
  • Interesting photos of projects yet to be made (pictures)
  • The Ku.Be House of Culture in Movement, Copenhagen
  • Benesse art site Naoshima
  • Teshima art museum
  • Sea airport in Greece 
  • Fort Lauderdale, Florida South African artist Daniel Popper
  • Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport, China, by RSHP
  • Guangzhou Opera House China
  • Copenhagen Children’s Hospital by 3XN 
  • General Architecture Collaborative has designed the Learning and Sports 
  • Centre in Masoro Village, Rwanda.

Last but not least, I believe that to ensure the prosperity of the future of architecture, it is crucial to conserve and protect what we already have, especially the traditional buildings and temples- The builds that define our cultures and helped shape us into what we are today. We do not, and frankly, cannot be perfect. But It is important to try everything possible in order to live in harmony with the nature and animals that surround us. It is what gave us life, and with or without us, it will prevail, even if we aren’t there anymore at some point. 


A few examples of places we must preserve are:

  • Puglia, Italy
  • St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican 
  • Machu Picchu, Peru
  • Temple “Chureito Pagoda“, close to Mount Fuji


Thank you and I hope you enjoyed it!!! I know I certainly did.