New generations ask for new solutions.
Understand the needs arising from demographic change.
As building projects often take years and sometimes even decades, architecture isn't a career for the impatient. Even if architects complete many striking projects, it takes a lifetime for some to get recognized for their work. Nevertheless, the interest in this rewarding career path is on the rise.
Globally, the number of persons aged 80 years or will rise from 137 million in 2017 to 425 million by 2050. These developments create an unprecedented rise in demand for services for older persons. In the United States alone, about 1.5 million people in need of daily assistance reside in retirement homes, a number that steadily keeps rising.
Millennials, the generation born between 1980 and 2000, are taking the offices by storm. As of 2020, 35 percent of the global workforce are millennials, also known as Generation Y. By 2025, this figure will rise to 75 percent. In some of the advanced economies of Europe and North America, they're already the largest working cohort.
A global educational revolution is in the making. University attendance rates are skyrocketing at a dramatic rate. By 2040, there will be around 600 million students around the world enrolled at universities -- up from roughly 216 million in 2016. Even with the global population changes adjusted, this translates into a 200 percent growth in the number of university students.
"Where are all the female architects?" Allison Arieff, a design and architecture writer, questioned in a 2018 opinion piece for the New York Times. "Nearly half of architecture students are women. Why are so few sticking with the industry after graduation?"
For much of the 20th century, a large house in the suburbs with a white picket sense was the ultimate material aspiration. As the most tangible aspect of the “American Dream", millions associated such dwellings with prosperity and success.
It was the early 19th century when the global human population reached a billion for the first time. Then, in just a couple of centuries, this figure grew more than sevenfold. The world population currently stands at around 7.6 billion. As the globe prepares to be the home of almost 10 billion inhabitants by 2050, members of each generation leave a unique mark in history.
Following its rapid rise from a humble fishing village to an ultra-modern metropolis, Dubai is a city of superlatives: It's home to the world's tallest building, biggest shopping mall, largest picture frame, or the most capacious indoor skiing center.
Since the ancient civilizations started to build cities, urban landscapes evolved parallel to the gender roles, associating public spaces with men, and the private sphere with women. However, in the late 20th century, as the global urban population continued to boom, spatial researchers began to emphasize the importance of a gender-sensitive approach to urban planning.
With internet access reaching the farthest corners of the world, a new kind of industrial revolution is reforming the work as we know it. As of 2019, more than 26 million workers in the United States alone - comprising 16 percent of the overall workforce - telecommuted to their jobs.
Thanks to a growing body of research about the link between smart hospital design and excellent medical outcomes, interiors of healthcare facilities are no longer an afterthought. For the reasons highlighted below, the impact of doors and entrance systems on the day-to-day life in hospitals and public health is immeasurable.
Even though architecture's development depends on the turns of the global economy, the way people build houses never fails to reflect the demographic shifts, top concerns, and aspirations. Following rapid urbanization, peaking environmental concerns, and the cultural shift brought by the generational changes, the architecture trends we expect to see in 2020 are no exception.