6 Architectural Trends That Will Break the Mold in 2018

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With the countdown to 2018 approaching, the architecture industry is already thinking about what will come in the new year. The prospect of change is looming, and advancing technologies and materials are set to overhaul the way we design and build. 

Following are the ways in which the industry might evolve, including trends that have been slowly developing and might finally be on the cusp of going mainstream.

High-Tech Materials

6 Architectural Trends That Will Break the Mold in 2018

Reiss Headquarters by Squire & Partners

Nanomaterials are intelligent and complex hybrid designs that react to their environment, materials, and constructive systems first designed for other industries. These incipient technologies, most of them highly experimental, will be further developed in 2018. The tendency is to test with unusual high-tech materials and give them architectural applications, with the goal of making our buildings more durable, eco-friendly, and easier to construct. Since some of the experiments have proven successful, it is possible some architects will see the opportunity to build larger projects and more companies will develop these materials for mainstream use.

Unusual Constructive Methods 

6 Architectural Trends That Will Break the Mold in 2018

Ricola Kräuterzentrum by Herzog & de Meuron

Experimentation in mediums beyond concrete, steel, masonry, and timber is becoming more common. Soil-based structures, structures made of living materials, plastic, and even mixed constructive methods such as concrete and timber log masonry are growing in popularity and proving their building value. When it comes to mixing and creating new constructive systems, the sky is the limit. This trend can go hand-in-hand with the trend of using recycled materials as some materials can be repurposed as part of one of these interesting structures.

Community Conscious Design

Buildings That Blend Nature and City by Jeanne Gang

Community-driven designs in which a valuable interaction between humans and the built and natural environments are no doubt going to be a focus in 2018. This trend, early embraced by architectural offices and favorites for the 2018 Pritzker––BIG and Studio Gang––brought the concept of community conscious architecture to life. Projects in which public participation, community-driven designs, and sustainable features are the main components vastly improve a community’s health and quality of life by tackling its greater issues and being respectful of their environment.

These projects enhance and improve both the way people interact with their buildings and how the buildings interact with their surroundings on a larger scale. From small residential buildings to big public projects, the concept can be applied to any architectural construct. 

Best Architecture of 2017

Smart Buildings


6 Architectural Trends That Will Break the Mold in 2018

AON Headquarters by IA Interior Architects

Technology is only advancing the industry's capabilities, and what was once a chimera has made its way into our everyday lives one step at a time. Smart homes, smart materials, offices, and buildings are no longer science fiction. Remotely heated homes, wireless sound systems, smart illumination systems responsive to human activity, smart appliances, and even smart shopping assistant devices have become more common and affordable.

Older buildings are being retrofitted to include these technological features and more architects are including them in their designs. These features can improve the user’s comfort and even help the environment, thanks to technologies such as efficient light fixtures and remotely activated thermal comfort regulators.

Repurposed Materials

6 Architectural Trends That Will Break the Mold in 2018

Bruma Winery by TAC Taller de Arquitectura Conceptual

Repurposing old materials is the ultimate environmentally friendly material option when designing a new building. With architects aiming for more environmentally friendly and cheap quick solutions, this trend will surely recruit more adepts in 2018. Materials such as repurposed timber elements, aluminum, recycled plastic and glass are not only money and energy saving but aesthetically interesting. 

Vernacular constructive systems

6 Architectural Trends That Will Break the Mold in 2018

Ga on Jai House by Iroje KHM Architects

In the years following the rise of modernism, the architecture industry advanced at a slower pace than others, but this is quickly changing as more firms are looking to their countries’ architectural roots for inspiration to create hybrid systems that mix old and new technologies to create innovative solutions with a cultural identity. Local traditional building methods were shaped by trial and error, adapting empirically to their environment. Trusting these sometimes millenary constructive methods can vastly improve the way a building performs in its environment. 

What architectural trend are you most excited to see in 2018? Let us know in the comments below.


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