The blog post discusses the evolution of architectural trends over time, and how societal and cultural trends influence the forms and styles of buildings. It starts with a brief introduction of the term “emerging expression of the age” and how architectural expressions of the age have been shaped by various factors throughout history. The post then goes on to discuss current trends such as sustainable/green architecture and parametric design, as well as past trends such as postmodern architecture and brutalism. The post aims to empower architects and designers to stay ahead of the curve by being able to anticipate and incorporate the latest architectural styles and movements into their designs.
Storytelling in architecture is the use of narratives, themes, and symbolic elements in the design of buildings and spaces to create meaning and connection. It has the ability to enhance the user experience, create a sense of place and identity, improve communication, and add aesthetic value. By using storytelling elements in their work, architects can help to make their designs more memorable, engaging, and meaningful for people.
I observed that when driving within most city centers and built-up areas in Nigeria, there is an increasing loss of character in newer buildings when compared to those built several decades back. This is most obvious in the premises of universities where various buildings from different decades can be seen together. This increase in character loss is not applicable to every new building, however, it applies to the majority of contemporary buildings built lately. I argue that this poses a problem to architecture as it gives our urban environment a bland and boring appearance, also, it fails to excite those living in and around them, thus taking an emotional toll on people. Lastly, it is likely to impact the real estate value of properties in these localities and ultimately their economics. I set out to understand why our buildings are becoming increasingly boring and how this can be fixed.
As an architect and observer of architectural trends, I have noticed an increase in popularity of modern architecture in Nigerian residential buildings. The style, characterized by prominent horizontal and/or vertical elements, flat roofs, and large windows, is becoming prevalent among young clients and architects due to its unique look. However, I am concerned about its suitability to the Nigerian climate and ease of maintenance. The flat roofs can cause interior spaces to heat up faster and are prone to leaks, while large windows retain heat within the building. I question if function should come before form in architectural design and the public’s perception of these buildings.
The article discusses the recent approval of a proposal to transform the architecture department in Nigerian universities into a full faculty of architecture. This announcement was made at the Architects’ Colloquium conference in 2018 by the Regulatory body for Architecture in Nigeria (ARCON). The move will allow for the proper development of an architecture teaching and research framework and encourage specialization. This is not a new concept globally as faculties of architecture already exist in other parts of the world, although the term “School of Architecture” is more commonly used.
I had an interesting conversation with a colleague about architects prioritizing design over cost and how it can impact project costs. I later came across an article on an online forum where industry professionals stated that most architects prioritize aesthetics over cost and are bad builders because of it. I believe students of architecture should not be burdened with the financial implications of their designs while in school and should be allowed to think outside the box. I also think that introducing financial implications in design may be an extra burden on students.
I stumbled upon architecture towards the end of my secondary school education while applying to universities. I chose it because I thought it was a fancy and respectable course, and because I had a natural interest in design and had done well in technical drawing. I went on to study architecture at the University of Lagos, where I found it to be a challenging and rewarding field that required not only intellect and creativity, but also stamina and determination.
I sometimes wonder about the emotional impact architecture has on people. Recently, I observed the Ikeja and Maryland malls in Lagos, Nigeria and wondered what personality they would have if they were people. The Ikeja mall reminded me of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water house and I found it to be “mature, quietly bold yet relaxed.” On the other hand, I was disappointed by the design of the Maryland mall and described it as a “big black box” that did not fit in with the surrounding neighborhood. I found that these buildings evoked strong emotions in me and I will not forget them easily.