Tuesday, February 26, 2013

'It's Alive!' - New ARUP Report Imagines Intelligent Cities of the Future

Last week's report from Arup's Foresight + Innovation team is helping to feed our blog's current appetite for all things futuristic. The 'It's Alive' report predicts that in 2050, buildings will be continuously adapting and made from materials that will enable them to do everything from filtering air to producing energy.

According to its vision for the future "structures will be fully integrated into the fabric of the city, responsive to changes in the external environment, and designed for continuous adaptability, according to real-time needs and demands of its users.” Buildings' facades will react to changing environmental conditions and use this information to make intelligent decisions that are able to support tomorrow's cities.

The evolution of buildings from aesthetic casings to living and breathing structures is expanded on by Josef Hargrave, foresight and innovation consultant at Arup : “In the ecological age, buildings do not simply create spaces, they craft environments.” Rather than continually churning out buildings that are well-designed in the classical sense of the word, Arup's Frankenstein model proposes a seismic shift at the heart of how architects approach the function of the building and arguably, their roles as architects of the future.

With population trends showing an increase in the number of city-dwellers over the past few years, the idea of the robotic building may be an experiment that offers much inspiration to many an architect dwelling on the possibility of bringing our buildings to life. The report can be read on Arup's site at this link: