5 Architectural Trends To Take Note Of In 2018

architectural trends
Reeves House. Architect: Peter Stutchbury. Image credit: Micheal Wee

Entries are now open for the 2018 AfriSam_SAIA Awards for Sustainable Architecture & Innovation, which recognises sustainable, innovative contributions to our living environments through community, planning, design, building practice, architecture, natural systems and technology.

Ahead of the closing date, architect, academic and sustainable architecture expert Philippa Tumubweinee shared 5 key architectural trends to take note of this year.

Boundaries Between Inside and Outside Will Dissolve:

Previously, outside spaces were strictly defined as decks, terraces and/or balconies. Residential architecture will start to see a trend in which entire spaces that were enclosed within the boundary of the house move in part, and in some instances in entirety, to the outside of the defined house boundary. This allows for greater connectivity between the “house” as an object in space and the space in which it is located – be this urban, peri-urban and or rural.

Incorporation of Different Technologies That Focus On Eco-friendly Features and Sustainable Practices:

Eco-friendly features

This includes but is not limited to urban gardens and vertical green walls. Eco-friendly features allow for buildings to literally be more green – through the incorporation of fauna in the architecture and the space itself.

Sustainable practices

This year will bring with it an increase in the implementation of sustainable practices that moderate the environment in residential buildings: either totally artificial where heating, ventilation and lighting standards are met by the installation of sophisticated mechanical and electrical plants; or passively, through innovation and ingenious solutions that harness the building’s inherent characteristics; and, or a combination of the two.

Artisanal products and practices

The spirited trend towards greater support and consumption of handmade objects, products and technologies by small independent designers and creatives is on the rise. The individuality offered by independent designers and creatives is something that in 2018 will be very much sought after. The contextual relevance embedded in this approach to objects and products is another feature that will support its increased performance and acceptance in residential architecture.

Flexible architecture

Joshua Prince-Ramus at TEDxSMU 2009, while talking about “Building a theatre that remakes itself” said, “It’s time for architecture to do things again, not just represent things”.

In 2018, that sentiment is going to be felt more and more in residential architecture. A flexible type of architecture / space, in response to various technological advances, authors processes and not objects. This is done through deeper and more meaningful engagement and collaborations with the client and end user. Architecture in 2018 will no longer be the autonomous realm for architects and designers – it will take on a “collective” and collaborative nature. That is to say, the architect and or designer will no longer as an individual(s) determine what the space is and how the space looks, but rather in collaboration with their client and user focus on what the architecture can do for the collective.

Closing date for entries for the 2018 AfriSam_SAIA Awards for Sustainable Architecture & Innovation closes on 24 March 2018. Entry is free. Visit sustainabledesign.co.za for more information.