For some strange reason, many of us architects tend to be conservative; to follow the safe path, and when innovative opportunities are presented to us, we often find something, one little detail that makes it difficult to achieve and we use that something to escape, we fled to the challenge and we dare not risk our comfortable and safe place in our field.
I do not mean that we all design based on traditional standards, but we follow paths already taken by others. We design based on architectural movements approved by many others, call it modernism, minimalism, deconstructivism, or any of those that we already have in mind…
… But we have difficulty accepting the eternal movement of life.
Actually, there is nothing in the world that is completely static. Whether the motion is self-induced or generated by external agents, everything, is always in motion.
Think about it: we are sitting on the couch, resting, moveless… NO, we are not moveless; internally, our tireless body is in endless activity to keep us breathing; in addition, the earth is rotating, therefore, we are moving with respect to the sun.
Then, think about life; the changes that have occurred in the lifestyles of humans, and how the speed with which these changes occur is increasing.
Now, think about architecture; about how static it usually is, and how difficult it is for many of us architects to accept potential changes.
But it is not always like this…
“Kinetic architecture Is a design concept in modern architecture which explores the physical transformation of a building with the objective to redefine traditional applications on motion through technological innovation. The use of robotics, mechanics and electronics are being more known as new approaches into architectural possibilities.” Wikipedia
Consider this type of architecture.
Some time ago, futurists / innovative dared to look beyond the obvious and decided to add a new ingredient to the recipe already known by architects. This was how movement became a part of the design and the possibilities of non-static architecture began to be considered. An example of this is Villa Girasole, created between 1.929 and 1.935 by the Italian engineer Angelo Invernizzi.
The issue here is that this type of architecture, at least until now, has been regarded as elite architecture, because of the high costs generated by the inclusion of robotics, mechanics and/or electronics in the building. And it is very easy for us to say: “I cannot do it because I have no budget.” This is where us, architects, find the little detail that makes the construction of this type of architecture somewhat difficult.
But what if we go further? What if we begin to say: “there must be some way to do the same thing in a different way, generating lower costs.”
In that case, we would not be so risky, we would only be stepping forward on a path already taken by others.
There are many already constructed building that show us the advantages that this architecture brings in many areas of life: green design, space saving, and many, many more. Here, no matter if the movement occurs on small or large scale, the important thing is to produce positive changes in someone or something, either the inhabitant, the planet or both.
By introducing movement as an extra variable in the project and by designing folding spaces, reconfigurable spaces through variation, we get many benefits, because we literally open up possibilities of spaces we previously thought impossible: walls that become ceilings, beds that turn into walls, floors that move from one place to another, …
This idea has already been created; someone, some time ago, dared to look beyond the ordinary, allowing us to use the phrase “Moving architecture” in two different ways: as kinetic architecture and as architecture that moves us into the future. All that the rest of us have to do is take a step forward in this direction that allows us to find solutions rather than little details or complications; of course, until someone thinks of a better idea.