Ever since our collective ancestors, the Homo heidelbergensis, built the first crude form of a shelter, innovations in the architecture industry have been propelling the quality of modern homes into the stratosphere. The thing about innovations in the realm of architecture is that it has the capacity to be modified an infinite amount of times in order to cater to the needs of the client. Ar. Manish Dikshit, the Founder and Principal Architect of the firm, Aum Architects is here to give his take on the concepts and innovations made in the realm of architecture in recent history.
Right off the bat, there have been innovations in the world of architecture that are heavily inspired by the functioning of nature’s creations like plants and animals. In order to get the math and proportions just right, generative designs use algorithms. After adding parameter inputs, the algorithm displays various architectural forms that are fully functional. Another branch of generative design is additive design. Additive design uses 3D printers on a massive scale in order to address industrial scales. The traditional way of designing a building has always been about a systematic layer of various components in the architectural world. Therefore, heating, ventilation, and solar gain are designed separately, and at the end stage, they combine to make a full-fledged structure. Additive design eschews this form of outdated thinking as it combines the functions of various layers into a single complex “skin”, inspired by natural elements, says Ar. Dikshit.
Since 1992, the use of concrete in construction has increased at an alarming rate. A core component of concrete is cement. Therefore, the need for cement in recent years has skyrocketed. While the use of cement in modern constructions offers a durable and long-lasting structure that can withstand various calamities easily, its use has led to a substantial environmental impact. Hence, ecologists and scientists are looking for an alternative to concrete so that the carbon footprint of the infrastructure industry can be reduced. Infact, an eco-friendly concrete substitution has been found in the USA. This concrete is drastically different from the traditional alternatives as it has the ability to store carbon dioxide. So the carbon footprint of concrete and cement can be reduced by up to 70% if architects and builders choose to opt for the ecologically friendly option, opinions Ar. Dikshit. A couple of years ago, in Spain, “biological concrete” was created. This concrete has been game-changing as it helps in the growth of vertical gardens, best suited for corporate buildings or commercial projects that call for the use of concrete.
It is also vital to recognize the fact that there is a dearth of architectural solutions for the elderly. Seeing we are in India, a country built on the principle of respecting elders, the architectural world has failed them. The current way in which public spaces or hospitals have been designed fails to integrate the needs of older folks. Such forms of architecture handicap the elderly and take away their independence. A new concept has emerged in various parts of Europe, called “Silver Architecture,” that caters to the geriatric population. Giving equal importance to the elderly, silver architecture aims to improve the quality of life for one and all. One of the most important tenets of silver architecture is smart space planning. Open spaces are best, but the perimeter of the room must be equipped with railings along with easily accessible panic buttons that can aid the older population in case they fall and need immediate medical assistance. In order to reduce the need for ambulation for the elderly, the space between rooms needs to be minimized. As folks get old, they are often patients of various neurodegenerative diseases. In order to keep them oriented, the layout of the rooms needs to be clear and precise that helps them live a relatively normal life. There are numerous things an accurate design can solve for elders.
Architecture fuses math and art into one form, thereby, leading to innovations in this sphere particularly satisfying for the architect involved. From energy-efficient systems to community-driven areas, the world of architecture is constantly expanding and evolving to ultimately improve the lives of the users.