Tim Van de Velde
Construction and Design Trends of 2021: The Recurring, The Popular, The Relevant and The Substantial
As we look back at the architecture projects we have published in 2020, as part of our yearly review, we were able to distinguish many recurring elements and solutions in terms of materials, programs, and functions.
Since the architecture industry moves slightly slower than others, we found that many things in the construction and design that have been building up these past years have come out making strong statements this 2020. We believe, therefore, that trends in the architecture world could be defined not only by what has been recurrent and popular but also, what has proven to be relevant and substantial.
Humans have used mirrors since as early as 600 BCE, employing highly polished obsidian as a basic reflective surface. Over time, people began to use small pieces of gold, silver, and aluminum in a similar manner, both for their reflective properties and for decoration. By the 1st century CE, people had started using glass to make mirrors, but it was only during the European Renaissance that Venetian manufacturers began making mirrors by applying metallic backings to glass sheets, remaining the most common general method of mirror manufacturing today. Since then, mirrors have continued to play both a decorative and functional role in architecture, serving a clean, modern aesthetic despite its ancient origins. Below, we investigate how mirrors are made, provide a brief history of mirrors in architecture, and offer several tips for architects looking to use mirrors in their designs.