Architecture may have its roots in sheltering humans from the elements, but that is not to say that architecture is for humans alone. Around the world, there are numerous examples of buildings and shelters designed by architects for other species. Some of these can be whimsical, such as the Dogchitecture exhibit by 10 Mexican architecture firms back in 2013, or the series of BowWow Haus kennels designed by over 80 architects back in 2017, including Zaha Hadid Architects. But others are designed for a more direct impact.
Over the past couple of years, many designers have voiced their commitment to ethical and ecological sourcing, resorting to frugal designs through local materials, traditional techniques, and equitable architecture. Having this approach in mind, many found inspiration in their cultural heritage, reimagining ancient designs in contemporary contexts.
When thinking of recycled design trends, we can't overlook one of the most well-known and popular materials that was shared by nations all around the globe over the span of 100 years; on balconies, outdoor patios, gardens, and indoor living spaces: rattan. It is estimated that almost seven hundred million people worldwide use rattan, with many countries presenting it as an integral part of their cultures. In this article, we look at how architects and designers integrated rattan in their designs and found numerous ways to make the best out of Southeast Asia's popular local material.
Both tea and alcohol in traditional China were similarly aestheticized, and both influenced the language of literature and art. People used to exchange alcohol as a gift in a way that they later would with tea. Today, more and more cities in China have embraced this drinking culture that passed down from generation to generation, and reinterpreted with a new contemporary fashion, which is constantly evolving in the urban cafes and bars.
The American architect, designer, and futurist Buckminster Fuller once defined the Dymaxion principle as “constructing ever more with ever less weight, time, and ergs per each given level of functional performance.”