Greenfield, A (2017:309) “Whenever we get swept up in the self-reinforcing momentum and seductive logic of some new technology, we forget to ask what else it might be doing, how else it might be working and who ultimately benefits most from its appearance This quote taken from the book ‘Radical Technologies’ (Greenfield, A. 2017) sets the scene for the discussion within this essay.
This essay will demonstrate critical architectural thinking to a wider pool of technologies and evaluate how these individually and collectively are impacting architectural design and theories. This essay will also demonstrate how these technologies are connected through the use of a case study, Wiki House, focusing on the fabrication and distribution technologies. In a world with cryptocurrencies, autonomous vehicles and advanced portable digital devices we find architecture lost amongst these? Maybe. Our every day lives have constant interactions with decision algorithms from our identity to how we interact with each other through the virtual world. The architects position is ever shifting and evolving, due to new technologies, both in the physical and virtual world.
Jeremy Rifkin, an economist, claims how through his book ‘Third Industrial Revolution’ (Rifkin, J. 2013) how we are entering a third industrial revolution. This book also describes how new technologies are allowing digital data to be turned into physical matter through the global network. Alastair Parvin, founder of Wiki House, describes a decentralized industrial model where fabrication and customisation happens locally (see figure 1).
Presented in his Ted Talks, Architecture for the people by the people (Prvin, A. 2013), he claims that the profession of architecture only serves 1% of the worlds population. This essay will evaluate how new technologies are activating this and evaluate the impact on architectural design and architectural Theories. Architecture is a custom build profession but now we are seeing evidence that architecture can shift into a mass customisation practice through new technologies described in this essay. The relationship between the author and audience, within architecture, is changing. There is a vast amount of information easily accessible and this has resulted in an increased widespread visual literacy.
This essay will show evidence of this and evaluate its impact on architectural design and theory. Our built environment changes depending on a number of social, economic and political factors. Nearly every aspect of our lives is customisable with relative ease, the background picture on your device or how we personalise consumables.
How will this affect architecture. The physical and virtual realities of the modern world is increasing in accuracy. Through digital technologies a growing number of people are able to interact with a virtual architecture. This takes form through game engines, rendering software, VR. Today we also see evidence how new technologies are increasing user participation in other industries for example the motor vehicle industry where website software allow users to design elements of their own vehicles.