Remembering Our Roots

1609-celebrating-125-years-looking-forward-material-futures-01Technology and Architecture go hand in hand with each pushing one another to achieve more. Complex structures, previously believed to have been impossible to build, are now achievable and in some cases set the standard for the new architectural norm. What is important to note is how design has gotten to the point it has, and by what means. In the article Material Futures published by Architectural Record and written by Bradley Quinn, the importance of old building practices is brought to light and how many of these forgotten design achievements are still relevant today. As is mentioned in the article, local grass was able to be harvested on a building site and was used in the creation of a thatched roof. Many elements of old buildings, such as thatch roofs, may seem ridiculous to have nowadays, however, if integrated with modern technology these old building practices may become more relevant in modern design and open the door to a cleaner more sustainable structure. The role of a designers is to go beyond what is expected and with the help of local building practices and materials, architects/designers will be able to challenge not only the technology but will be able to do so at a hopefully cheaper and more sustainable level. The commonly understood conflict of embracing technology or not, need not actually be true. Old building practices have existed this long simply because they have been tried and tested. Similarly new technology is either praised or forgotten. The key for future building designs will not be which side to go with but rather which pieces of each side the designer will take to create a unified balance between new and old building technologies and practices.

Photo Credit: Baan, Iwan. N.d. Senegal. Architectural Record. Web. 9 Sept. 2016.

Quinn, Bradley. “Material Futures.” Architectural Record RSS. Design, CMS, Hosting & Web Development, 1 Sept. 2016. Web. 09 Sept. 2016.


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