The Global community
The global community is a flexible community. The community is vast, it grows, it detracts, it moves when it wants to move, it goes where it wants to go and it values change. It wants more and it wants to be in more places.
The global community calls for buildings to facilitate its malleability. Better yet – malleable architecture allowing for fluid lifestyle. We cant take our buildings with us – but we can take parts.
Architecture as parts.
Architecture has always been made up of parts. The concern is: parts should be useful for always for more than one thing. It is irresponsible to only design rigid buildings. Architecture to this day could be considered future ruins. Ruins of precious parts.
“Cradle to Cradle” Architecture
Nature designs for timelessness – humans attempt timelessness through design but have seemingly thus far been destined to waste. Even when we design using recycled materials – these recycled materials are destined for landfill.
But nature designs for waste. For nature, waste equals food.
So we can either design to maintain a materials purity for constant reuse (if a technical material) or we can design for a material to biodegrade – and become food for future material production.
“Products can be composed either of materials that biodegrade and become food for biological cycles, or of technical materials that stay in closed-loop technical cycles, in which they continually circulate as valuable nutrients for industry.” (Braungart, 2009)
But before we use energy on completely reverse engineering a built work we can design for flexibility of use. For architecture, and in this case, we design a building of parts (or modules) which can be deconstructed and reconstructed to suite – each module also being useful separately for alternative sites and uses.
It is deemed necessary to support evolution in the built environment. If the community is to be successful one needs to allow for personal choice. “…architecture relates directly to the things we do; it changes and evolves as new, or reinterpreted, ways of identifying places are invented or refined.” (Unwin, 2003)
If one considers architecture as an abstract version of storytelling then “Place is to architecture, it may be said, as meaning is to language.” (Unwin, 2003) Thus it is paramount to narrate place. It is dangerous to conceive a completely new built environment as it may be unrecognisable. Instead it is proposed that collective memories are illustrated, both local and foreign. Giving the person experiencing thearchitecture reason to acquire an implied story (meaning) and depart on his or her own story.
Although one can also choose the direction, facilitate and imply the outcome.
Thus choice with the direction of the story/ the physical make-up of the architecture will allow for ownership of the new built environment.
The Flexible Module
This could be supported by Archigrams idea of the; ‘Plug in city’, prefabricated living, adaptable space and the ability for deconstruction. Which can facilitate choice outside of the architect’s pen. “In the technological society more people will play an active part in determining their own individual environment, in self-determining a way of life.” (Cook, 1972)
This is not only advantageous for the society, it also allows for off site construction, reuse, decreased transportation costs to the environment & economy and less waste which proves a more sustainable method of construction. “everyone in the community has latent creative instincts and that our role will eventually be to direct these into some tangible and acceptable form.” (Cook, 1972)