Architecture, for centuries, has been defining the way civilisations rise, prosper, and decline. Architecture defines the way we live our lives. It is much beyond just the physical form. It impacts the politics that drive the nation and its economy. Architecture defines the identity of the self and society as a whole. It influences the resilience of an era and ensures sustainability in the future. Meanwhile, architecture also gets altered by many such factors.
Hence the question emerges – what and how should the architecture of the future be? And a bigger question – what could this future be? Would it be predictable and programmed, a future that is distant yet foreseeable? Or is it another future that would be there as soon as tomorrow? Would it be a world overpowered by artificial intelligence and machine learning, or would it be sensitive and contextual like a gendered space? Can it be more climatically conscious? Can it revive the relevant practices that are sustainable? The possibilities are immense.
The International Symposium on ‘Architecture for All: Call of the Future’ is an attempt to ponder on these questions. To understand how we as civilisations are making an impression which is much more than just a physical mark. It breaks down from the conventional ideas of remaining in silos. It promotes that the concept of a new world must embrace influences from multiple fields and disciplines. The sessions in the symposium would holistically define the position of our times as we embark on the quest to find what the architecture of the future should be.
It is incredibly essential to explore the various critical dimensions of architecture to find its future. Not only questioning the existing but also embracing the future. Then and only then can we look forward to a future that is just, viable, and feasible for all. Though, it is not an easy task. Many barriers engulf and blur our perception of the future. It is crucial to find our voices, which can unblur these perceptions that have been lingering for a long time. The symposium calls for proposals that explore the following themes through the lens of either questioning the existing or embracing the future.
Architecture and Politics: Architecture and politics are closely related. Change in one is bound to affect the destiny of the other. The political ideology will inform what the architecture would be. On the other hand, it is interesting to explore how architecture, with its tangible and intangible stimuli, can shape the political landscape of any city, region, or country. Hence the theme investigates the relationship between architecture and politics as it shifts through various periods.
Architecture and Identity: Architecture acts as an identity marker for the citizens of any land. Their thoughts, beliefs, and ideologies shape the environment they live in. With the fast-paced life, an identity crisis is observed in cities worldwide. Cities in the past catered to the needs, but does it hold true in the future? Hence the theme broadly explores the relationship between architecture and identity in the changing times.
Architecture and Society: Architecture moulds society in myriad ways, sometimes gradually and sometimes all of a sudden. It influences and gradually changes the way societies function. Be it spaces for specific needs, a healthy lifestyle, or iconic structures, architecture has always been the answer. Hence the current theme investigates the symbiotic relationship between architecture and society.
Architecture and Climate: Architecture should respond to the climate it exists in. Buildings can be major guzzlers of energy and also impact the climate negatively if not built consciously. Passive architecture techniques, vernacularism, and greening of architecture are a few ways and means in which architecture can adapt better to the surroundings and also respond more effectively. Hence the theme explores the much
needed dialogue on how architecture should respond to the climate more consciously.
Architecture and Wellbeing: The lifestyle of humankind has changed drastically from ancient times. The education and service scenario of current times has mostly confined us indoors. Architecture hence plays a huge role in regulating our moods and stimulating our senses. Hence the theme positions the idea of wellbeing as an essential aspect of architecture in today’s era.
Architecture and Ecology: Humans are an intrinsic part of a larger ecosystem. The habitats should respond to and respect the specific needs of this ecosystem. The interdependence between humans and nature is vital for the survival of the human race: clean air, water, food, forests and overall sustainability. Hence the theme explores the delicate relationship between architecture and ecology, which is positioned to understand the need of current and future times.
Architecture and Technology: The 21st century is a leap in technological innovation in almost all fields of human endeavour. Every technological advancement is followed by a greater responsibility towards the built environment. The pros and cons of how the architecture will respond to new technological innovation are something to ponder about. Hence the current theme explores the changing milieu of architecture and technology.
Architecture and Inclusion: Architecture defines how we live, yet one wonders if it is inclusive for all. Social justice, cultural acceptance, gendered spaces, and barrier-free environment are just a few of the many areas where one can understand how big a role inclusivity can play in architecture and urbanity of the times to come. Hence the current theme traverses the challenging path of understanding the nuances of inclusivity and how architecture can play a significant role in it.
Architecture and Economy: Architecture plays an integral role in the economic development of any area. Development in any form affects land prices in a direct or indirect context. Space is a critical element in the economics of architecture. Architecture has the potential to elevate the economy of any area, city or region. Hence the current theme investigates the relationship between economy and architecture.
Architecture and Context: Contextualism in architecture has been debated for a long time. It can range from a variety of standpoints, cultural, economic, or ecological. Architecture should induce growth and wellbeing and, at the same time, should respond to the context where it is positioned. Hence the current theme probes the architectural practices and the context it aims to respond to.
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