World Architecture Day, celebrated on the first Monday of every October, was set up by the Union International des Architects (UIA) back in 2005 to “remind the world of its collective responsibility for the future of the human habitat”, coinciding with UN-Habitat's World Habitat Day.
To mark this occasion, ArchDaily's curators and editors decided to pick a series of articles that capture the major challenges and trends that are shaping the built environment around the world.
It is worth noting that some topics span multiple categories, or can be re-categorized depending on how we frame the built environment and our human habitat. In short, if transformation is going to happen, it must be global.
Public Spaces: The Heart of Societies
We once believed Facebook would become the modern agora of societies, and apps such as Pokemon Go! would be the main drivers urging humans to come back to public spaces. In an era where we're reevaluating the bases of our societies and economies, fortunately, public spaces have become more relevant and more desirable than ever.
Technologies: From the Internet of Things to Artificial Intelligence
A few years ago, we asked our readers whether automation would affect architecture. Most of the readers believed back then that human creativity wouldn't be replaced by some random bot, but the truth is, new technologies are everywhere —and for the better, in most cases. Therefore, do not expect some humanoid robots to replace you soon.
Climate Crisis: Now or Never
It isn't about believing climate change is real. It's happening, regardless of what you might believe. We as citizens must address it, now.
Societies: How Will We Live Together?
“We need a new spatial contract," wrote Hashim Sarkis a year ago when introducing the Venice Biennale 2020 theme (well, 2021). "In the context of widening political divides and growing economic inequalities, we call on architects to imagine spaces in which we can generously live together".
"I Grew Up Where Architecture Was Designed to Oppress": Wandile Mthiyane on Social Impact and Learning from South Africa
Post-COVID-19 Typology Trends
As soon as we had to stay at home, we began looking to the future. It is still too soon to call it, but flexible workspaces, wellbeing and mental health as a must on our upcoming projects, the revival of mix-use projects, a revolution in healthcare project design (as it happened after the 1918 Flu Pandemic), and the reconfiguration of sharing economy as we understood it before COVID-19 are among our medium-term bets.
Selection curated by Hana Abdel Latif, María Gonzalez, Clara Ott, Paula Pintos, Antonia Piñeiro, Romullo Baratto, Fabian Dejtiar, Matheus Pereira, Eduardo Souza, and Nicolas Valencia.