Digital technologies drive optimization, boost efficiency, cut costs and environmental impact. As the advanced economies are racing to embrace the new industrial revolution, also known as the “Industry 4.0", construction remains one of the least digitized sectors.
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.
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.
Construction is notoriously a conservative domain. It's among the least digitized sectors, but also one of the most wasteful, generating 35 percent of the global landfill mass. Yet, with the rise of urbanization and population around the world, the need for new buildings, hence, construction, is direr than ever.
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.
Names like FinTech (financial technology), and PropTech (property technology) are widely in use. However, as these multi-billion-dollar industries keep raising their influence on global markets, there's still much mystery surrounding a new member of the "Tech" family: ConTech.
The rise of remote work, also known as telecommuting, is unstoppable and inevitable. In the United States alone, the number of remote workers skyrocketed by 159 percent between 2005 and 2017. In the meantime, by now, millennials are the largest working group in many parts of the world.
Held every five years since the 1850s, Expo events keep offering invaluable insights about solutions for some of humanity's biggest challenges. Designed around the three theme districts of opportunity, mobility, and sustainability, many believe the Expo 2020 in Dubai will be the most ambitious one to the date.
The 2010s have been a monumental decade for architecture around the world. As the Western world slowly recovered from the recession of 2008 and the environmental concerns accelerated, many projects took a minimalist and introspective route.
Today's buildings aren't just smart—they're alive. Smart lighting systems turn lights on and off at optimal times while intelligent heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems micro-adjust throughout the day to maximize energy efficiency.
The future of work is flexible: A third of the workforce in the US is now freelance. Many companies, including larger ones, are opening their doors to an alternative workforce composed of contractors, freelancers, gig workers, and crowd workers because of their ability to enhance organizational performance.
Virtual reality is commonly associated with the gaming and entertainment realm, with users immersing themselves in computer-generated worlds. Yet the technology could play a vital role to revolutionize urban living, with the potential to transform urban landscapes across the globe.