5 design trends shaping future architecture

At the turn of the 20th century, a selection of postcards were published showing what people thought cities would look like in 2000. Giant glass roofs would stretch over our metropoles and entire rows of houses would be transported by train, according to the imaginations of our predecessors. As we similarly attempt to predict what future architecture has in store for us, what is it that we see? Here are a few of the already emerging trends surrounding urban design that might offer us a few clues.

5 design trends shaping future architecture

1. Sustainability

With a growing population and rumblings of climate change, sustainable design is one of the most important challenges faced by future architecture firms. Engineers and architects are already doing their part to reduce waste, maximise building efficiency and incorporate recyclable materials into their structures. In the initial planning stages, many designers are taking greater care in adapting their ideas to work harmoniously with the building's natural surroundings. An excellent example of this adaptive architectural design can be seen at the Kleindienst Group's 'The Floating Seahorse' residential project in Dubai. This luxurious development positioned on the Arabian Gulf features floating villas that are designed in accordance with nature conservation principles. Kleindienst is even creating artificial coral reefs as part of the project, providing new habitats for endangered seahorses.

2. Virtual reality

Of course, we can't talk about future architecture without mentioning technology and the advent of virtual reality and 3D design. Using wireless sensors, headsets and digital graphics, we're now able to create immersive reality experiences that aren't just for gamers. Architects are beginning to use this technology to plan and show their new concepts more vividly than ever before. Clients are able to walk through virtual projects in real-time and visualise the structure long before a single stone is laid.

3. Vertical design

Many experts predict that the cities of the future will be built upwards rather than outwards, to cope with a growing world population. When space comes at a premium, vertical living could be the answer. The growth of vertical agriculture would allow crops to grow with less impact on the environment. Cleaner, greener cities could be built from the ground up, offering people attractive residential units stacked into the sky. We've already looked at what this could mean for our urban spaces, and how the likes of Ole Scheeren’s vertical village in Singapore will provide inspiration for similar future architectural projects.

4. Connected spaces

Another driving force behind our movement towards a technological future architecture is the growth of the Internet of Things. Our living spaces will become increasingly intuitive, using smart design to redefine how we live, work and play. This includes smart homes that can adjust temperature and lighting automatically, as well as properties outfitted with features according to your personal preferences.

5. New uses of old materials

Not everything will be made from the latest high-tech materials, however. There's also a contemporary push for architects to rethink how they use traditional materials, as seen in C.F. Moller’s skyscrapers crafted from wood. Cross-laminated timber panels allow projects like this to be realised, since they’re more fire-resistant and durable than a traditional wooden beam. In addition to new ways of utilising timber, we may also see future applications of ancient architectural methods and materials like rammed earth, but obviously with some modern smart technology thrown in, too.

The future of architecture will be sustainable, organic and intuitive, offering residents a fresh take on traditional techniques. You can search for a property that already incorporates some of these future architecture trends to be on the cusp of these innovations and to be ready for what lies ahead.

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