3D Printed buildings, rotating skyscrapers, prefabricated buildings, sky cities, green communities - these are all buzz words within the current built environment. Understanding trends, knowing about latest products and inventions and being able to solve design problems with new technology and thinking - all this plays a vital role, no matter which design field you work in.
This desire for knowledge comes with your personal interest in what is happening in the world around you - but is that the only reason? Does your knowledge and background not also contribute to the value you can bring to your assignments whilst being a student, later contributing to your ability in solving a client’s project, not to mention making you a more viable individual and asset to future employers? All the above!
How does one stay on track with what is happening in the built environment? With instant online information to the international architectural stage, simply taking 30 minutes a week to read and research the latest building projects that have been completed around the world, seeing if there are any technologies and design ideas that are trending, or even researching what is happening in your local region in the form of building projects or trade shows can help keep you in the loop of what is happening in the built environment.
A constantly evolving field is that of ‘environmental design.’ Although our human desire for healthy living are not new, sustainable ideas and trends are constantly evolving, moving the built environment toward a more ‘green’ future. It is important to stay aware of the latest technology, as well as current concepts being developed by the industry and how such have been implemented and used by fellow architects and designers. These days, simply knowing that there are systems like solar energy, rainwater collection or wind power are not enough. Knowing how these are implemented and the importance of understanding how these systems can be fully integrated into the design itself are becoming ever more vital for future design thinking (see cover image).
There are hundreds of sources from which you can gather, learn and read about this kind of information from all around the world. These can include online, as well as many print and magazine sources, to attending a congress or lecture. ‘Like’ the Facebook and Instagram pages of your favourite blogs, architects, designers and trend websites. When it comes to understanding what is happening in the built environment, always focus on both local and international sources - we live in a connected world, make use of it.
Herewith some relevant websites and blogs to get you started with staying up to date on trends and technology in the built environment:
Arch Daily - www.archdaily.com • International Blog resource covering architecture and trends. • Includes High Quality images and plans
Inhabitat - www.inhabitat.com • International Blog resource specializing in green and sustainable trends. • Includes not only architecture, but tech, lifestyle and fashion.
Design Milk - www.design-milk.com • Trend blog, specializing in Architecture and Interior Design.
- Rendering of COR building. Miami, FL, USA. Oppenheim Architecture & Design. Rendering: Dbox.
Carsten P. Walton is the Faculty Dean for the Built Environment at Inscape Education Group. He holds a Masters in Architecture from the Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD) in the USA, Carsten has been in private practice, specializing in environmental design for over a decade as co-founder of 7circle Architecture, with numerous projects completed in South Africa, the USA and Australia.