Futurism: Design that evolves with humanity


Over the last two months, I wrote a series relating to architecture and life. It was an adventure of how design transforms lives, for its productivity and celebration of life itself. To end the series, I find it fitting to talk about futurism after symbolism emphasizing symbols tell the stories of the past. It is a bit cliché, but we continuously hope for a better tomorrow. It is in our humanity to find ways to make the future better. We may not be able to change the past and only celebrates its stories. It is always a good time to envision a future wonderland.

I firmly believe that our actions and imaginations shape our future. No one would argue that the one of the person with a better chance to shape and materialize our vision is an architect. A building that standstill today can outlive us and tell the future how we shape the world as they will have it that day. Architects do not limit their imaginations to what is possible for our built world, which they can transform fantasies on paper into space that inspire the generation to come. We can focus on what could be and what we wish for in our world.

Years ago, Italian visionary artists came to their senses and rejected the art and design norms with the day, whether its artwork, poetry, music, and even architecture. Futurists wanted to define the world anew, which they envisioned with science and technology as the building blocks. They expressed futurism in any means, not just limited to art but in naked nationalism and a bit of brutality. It seems their step is drastic, and many see their ideologies with flaws.

Although their social actions have flaws, futurism calls for a built world that is more sustainable and innovative. Futurists looked at it as the end utopia for humanity. I think this utopia has good merits. Futurism is all around us, even if we aren't aware of it. We are too obsessed with forecasting that we always pay attention to what experts say, like the weather or the economic cycle. It shows that we have a natural inclination towards futurist ideologies.

Even when a forecaster commits a mistake, they still gain our attention. If history teaches us one lesson, we have the insatiable need to know the future. We are too concerned if a human can be a cyborg or the next recession. We live in a world of trends, and futurism is constantly influencing our reality. As we work to modernize our lives, every area changes. It bridges our past to the future despite futurism drops the current norms. It just shows that we come into the full circle of how we evolve.

Architecture is adaptable to what we need or as the need emerges. Our built world is about adaptability and flexibility while maintaining spatial experience, aesthetics, and much more sustainability. Our architecture account not only to the need of one person but of the community as it adhere to social norms, values, and cultural divergences. Architecture can push causes that will make our built world better rather than go south.

Futurism can go hand in hand with design activism. The latter is about socially aware of what a place needs to fit in to make a better place, while the former drops social norms for a more progressive approach to design. We can argue about how flawed or rebellious these ideologies are, but we can agree that it asks us to have a more sustainable and habitable built world.

Futuristic Architecture evolves with humanity. Futurists aspire that our architecture concentrates on long-term effects on nature and how to co-exist. The idea is to push beyond the dream of a truly sustainable world. Futurism experiments with new materials and methods while remaining true to our beliefs and culture. True sustainability necessitates more than technology solutions. It asks us to understand human nature that acknowledges, validates and supports our increasing fragility and interdependence.

At first glance, futurist architecture seems out of the comics and a bit spacey. Some will associate it with a Star Trek or a Star Wars vibe. However, time proves that we can create the impression of a highly modern community with a never-been-seen-before utopia. Long gone are the ridicules, futurist thrives beyond sketches in the paper. It is now a euphoria of possibility and creative breakthroughs.

What we formerly considered only an idea is in our hands. We can see and interpret it. In the information era, our digital revolution changes the landscape of how we design. We now see designs go beyond the regular shapes and use materials more sustainable than before. Not so long ago, we imagined the idea of skyscrapers, parametricism, and sustainable designs, but today, it is taking over our built world. Futurism slingshot our actions to modernized our world despite social flaws.

Again, futuristic architecture adapts to our changing of life seasons. As we learn from our history and continue to progress, we learn from our experiences that lead to how we design with nature in mind and how architecture goes from this point onwards. Futurism opens up new trails to find newer ones. It can be complex, but it can help us make our built world better and more sustainable. Our futuristic architecture is more than simply a design style of modernity. It is a perspective and a philosophy on how we view the future of the built world and the future of our living conditions and lifestyles.

No one can predict the future and anticipate the socio-technical progress that we will have. It is quite an irony that we can't predict the future, but we look forward to the ideologies of futurism. Despite the irony, we can expect our actions can define our distant future. The futuristic mind resonates with the unlikely design ideas that can bring humanity to a better and more sustainable condition. Thinking about our future entails envisioning and shaping what our future can be. It asks us to change our way of thinking. It is about building a road plan to explore possibilities, how we relate our actions to different things, and how they interconnect in many ways.

Check out my previous post on Architecture and Design Community




  1. Ziauddin Sardar , An Italian vision of a scientific Utopia, Nature

  2. Farhan Asim and Venu Shree, A Century of Futurist Architecture: From Theory to Reality, ResearchGate

  3. Vismitha Yaji, Past, Present and Future: Futuristic Architecture, Rethinking Architecture

  4. Bruce Sterling, Manifesto of Futurist Architecture, Wired

  5. Devon Powers, Why we are obsessed with forecasting and futurism? The history of predicting the future., The Washington Post

Featured Photo:

The selected photos in the text are design concept of a city in Mars. Check out more design concept in Architecture on Mars: Projects for Life on the Red Planet. Featured photo is courtesy of Cortesía de Xiaomi/ ArchDaily


When it comes to basic shelter and habitable spaces, architecture simply transcends our current Earthly habitats. Our existing civilizations cannot grow if we merely settle with our current built environments. Sooner or later, humanity will need to adapt to major changes and must transform into inter-planetary species for their long-term survival. Our technologies are developing rapidly with lightning speed. Hence, it's not a question of how but a question of when. And with the likes of Elon Musk who are pushing the boundaries of space programs such as the exploration of Mars, the construction of homes, buildings, and infrastructures in other celestial bodies is inevitable.

Having said so, architecture becomes timeless - constantly learning from the past, optimizing for the present, and eventually innovating for future outcomes. We have no choice but to work together in order to evolve.

When it comes to basic shelter and habitable spaces, architecture simply transcends our current Earthly habitats. … Hence, it's not a question of how but a question of when.

I strongly agree. Our world is evolving in a pace that we never felt before. We can expect that sooner or later we will become an interplanetary. Our design will evolve as our humanity evolves. This may sound repetitive but it is what is true, the permanent thing is change.

Architecture becomes timeless

We learn the mistakes of the past and apply to the present so that we will have a better future. Architecture is essentially a key element to that. We need to work together to make our dream utopia a reality.

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