I always ponder on this subject since I was a kid – perhaps influence from sci-fi stories. Will we be seeing building designs of the future be different or with the sophisticated looks? Or perhaps getting taller and taller?
As I entered the 90s, yes, I have seen some futuristic developments as I expected when I was a child. But do you think, the building will be taller and taller in the future?
I don’t think so. Of course, once people become really economic-conscious, this skyscrapers would no longer be built as you don’t have proper justifications in terms of economy. Just visit any skyscraper in the world today - look at the ‘small’ office spaces as you go further up? And look at the rental price?
But if you all ask me, will digital age encounter higher evolution as time goes by? My answer would be a big ‘YES” and to evolutionize the digital age, you do not need to build high buildings, right?
You can just ‘go anywhere’ to find :
a) ‘wi-fi’ and ‘wi-max’ – a very rapid evolution of broadband which started from leased line which started from ‘dial-up’
b) ‘3G’ facilities – a very rapid evolution of GPRS, Bluetooth which started from WAP.
then you’ll get connected to the world - and these technologies are getting better and better as I speak now!
Now why would people build tall buildings on the first place? If you study carefully, the typical claims would be :
a. to denote some kind of success and glory via ‘monuments’,
b. plus (ironically) also an indication of the lifestyle of rich and famous, the taller the penthouse or CEO’s office suite be, the ‘taller’ the ‘success level’ would be
So, do you think, this philosophy will still be valid in the future? (Maybe now) I think what we’re facing now is part of the new industrial revolution (we’re still in the learning stage) and soon when quality genuinely takes its place, we would be concentrating to building a more secured, stronger + environmental friendly superstructures – green buildings (not necessarily high)
Now how would I know this? I see ‘signs are happening now’. I noticed that some true rich men coincidentally related to the digital business – surprisingly prefers lower buildings with good surroundings - just look at Google, Yahoo offices and even Microsoft building in Richmond. Now these firms are more into evolutionizing digital technology rather than making skyscrapers to denote their success.
Now the following are what I foresee (not Nostradamaus-oriented) :
a) The current skyscrapers will stay the way they are but new ones will no longer be built,
b) Even if there are new buildings to be built, the focus would be on reliability, strength, longer life-cycle and especially environmental friendly elements – in simple terms – GENUINE sustainable development,
c) Digital technology race and evolution will come to a total halt one day (but not as soon as skyscrapers) and we would still be maintaining what we have – possibly try to go back to the basics as much as we can.
Response from flick068-Posted: 02 June 2007 at 4:34pm
I think you're not very far off in your Nostradamaus-oriented predictions. The current movement is towards green and sustainable buildings rather than glorified monuments. Although glorified monuments seems to be de rigueur in developing nations eg India & China. For eg, just read in today's paper a billionaire in India building a 60-storey palace with helipad, health club, etc for his business/office and home, just 'coz he can! If you've got it, flaunt it type of mentality I suppose. And look at all the one-upman-ship happening around in Shanghai, Taiwan, Malaysia included on who builds the tallest, longest, biggest building... (how about a building that works and not crack or leak would be better don't you think?)
Once people realise about scarcity of resources and the need for sustainability then the buildings will follow. In some ways the developed nations are getting there because they are the first to feel the effect, in a way.
Also, with the digital movement, it will change the way people work. Perhaps more people will work from home and there won't be need for massive office buildings - although i think this is much further away in the future.... i don't think human bosses have the necessary skills to manage staff remotely (another whole different discussion on human bosses' skills....)
Nik Zafri's Response : Posted: 08 June 2007 at 2:46pm
Hi flick, thanks for seconding. The more I look into this matter, the more I see few things :
a. We have to learn the hard way - that is when the environmental factors started to deteriorate profusely, only then, people will understand that how important to safeguard nature in order not to destroy the future of their very own future generation. (many countries started out where we started. Some realized fast and drew the line to block the 'madness of unsustainable development' plus restarted trees planting but some countries were left very far behind and awaiting destruction - as a result of their own past guilts)
b. The (a) factor is very much related to serious need for attitude change - ignorance, talking hypotheses/dissertation (talk the walk), no follow-up action taken, waiting for something to happen first (reactive and corrective or firefighting attitudes) etc.etc.
Indeed ICT evolution should be channelled towards educating the people proactively!