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  2. ADTopic 2020 How Will We Live Together

ADTopic 2020 How Will We Live Together: The Latest Architecture and News

How Could a House Work in a Post Climate Change Scenario?

Climatic conditions are changing around the world, and with more extreme temperatures and limited resources, architectural and urban solutions must also change. How could our homes look and function effectively in a post-climate change scenario? Analyzing in detail the forecasts of these climatic variations, the architects of W-LAB have developed a Low-Tech habitat proposal for humid, hot, and arid climates, incorporating bio-materials, transportable solutions, and configurations that promote life in small and resilient communities.

Rights to the City and Urban Conflicts in Latin America: What Can Be Done?

María Cristina Cravino, the head of numerous research projects and publications on informal settlements and the politics of public habitation, draws from her background in anthropology to become one of the most prominent voices in the discussion about rights to the city and modern urban conflicts. 

To get her perspective, we sat down with Cravino to discuss her observations and understanding of the issue--especially in the context of quarantine and lockdowns--as well as her reflections on the role of academia in exploring the problem and finding solutions. 

Open Air: New Ways We Can Live Together in Nature

“We need a new spatial contract." This is the call of Hashim Sarkis, curator of the Venice Biennale 2021, as an invitation for architects to imagine new spaces in which we can live together. Between a move towards urban flight and global housing crises, the growth of more low-rise, dense developments may provide an answer in the countryside. Turning away from single family homes in rural areas and suburbs, modern housing projects are exploring new models of shared living in nature.

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Husos Architects: "We Don't Want to Contribute to the Homogenization of the World Around Us"

Husos Architects' work advances in an ongoing dialogue between design and research. Founded in 2003 between Spain and Colombia, the architecture and urban planning office stands out for addressing different scales, from the micro to the global, responding to the requirements of specific users but weaving deep contextual networks with the environment and beyond. How do they effectively approach this complexity, in turn promoting social transformation? We spoke with Diego Barajas and Camilo García Barona about their processes of approaching users and other agents involved –not only humans–, about how they address the colonization of the biosphere that has caused climate change, and about their inquiry into activism from a series of battlefields habitually neglected in traditional discourses of architecture.

A New Urban Model for a New Project of Society: An Interview with Tainá de Paula

A New Urban Model for a New Project of Society: An Interview with Tainá de Paula - Featured Image
Tainá de Paula. Image: Publicity Photo

Approaching the context of widening political divides and growing economic inequalities. A new spatial contract. Learning how will we live together. These thoughts brought by Hashim Sarkis, curator of the 17th International Architecture Exhibition of Venice Biennale 2021, may raise important questions about how architecture crosses and materializes social and political conflicts. To understand a more decentralized point of view, which indicates possibilities other than those dictated by normative mindsets, we interviewed Tainá de Paula, a Brazilian architect and community mobilizer in poor suburban areas.

The Challenges and Opportunities of Urban Regeneration in Gentrified Areas of China

Since the 1990s, copious amounts of cities in China have been undergoing urban renewal. Prompted by this state-facilitated urban redevelopment, skyscrapers are being built rapidly in major cities to attract affluent middle-classes, resulting in countless relocation and displacement of the working-class population. Such process is known as “gentrification”.

As cities and neighborhoods are being gentrified thoroughly to meet middle-class taste and boost economic growth, urban land resources are being treated in ways to increase business potential, leaving little room for the development of urban street life. Among rows of concrete and steel constructions, nowadays, urbanites are struggling to find a place to sit, rest, and play during leisure time. Analyzing five architectural practices creating livable urban public spaces, this article discusses the challenges and opportunities of urban revitalization in China under the phenomenon of gentrification.

Living in Community: 13 Projects That Promote Shared Spaces

Due to population growth and an increase in urban density and real estate prices, architects and urban planners have been pursuing alternatives for new spatial configurations for settling and housing in the cities. The multiplication of shared housing and workspaces is an example of how the field of architecture is adapting to new ways of living in society. 

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Seaweed as Cladding: Combining Old Traditions With New Tech

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Inspired by vernacular architecture, Kathryn Larsen is a bio-based designer working with seaweed. Throughout her career, she has been doing an intensive investigation into eel-grass, a material that has been used for centuries around the world. Larsen wants to apply all the benefits of this material (rot resistance, fire resistance, non-toxic, insulation characteristics comparable to mineral wool, and its ability to create carbon negative buildings) into prefabrication development and other technologies that enable the creation of new cladding and other elements, such as insulation batt and acoustic panels.

During the latest Design Indaba Festival, we had the chance to interview Kathryn. Read the interview and learn more about her work below.

Serious Question: How Will We Live Together?

Ever since Hashim Sarkis introduced How Will We Live Together? as the theme of Venice Biennale 2020 (now 2021), the central question has become more relevant than ever.

No More Room for the Living or the Dead: Exploring the Future for Burials in Asia

In some of the most dense cities around the world, it’s becoming an increasing challenge to find a comfortable space to live- and similar for when you die, too. It’s estimated that 55 million people pass away each year, and for every one living person today, there are 15 times the number of deceased. Yet urban planners and architectural developers are more interested in dealing with the living than dabbling in the business of death. As a result, it’s created tension in the two parallel worlds- and as time goes on, more questions are being raised about how we address public space that can be designed so that both the living and the dead can coexist.