Comparing Modern Buildings to Modern Cars

Why aren’t modern buildings up to modern cars in trends. Recently, during a class with my students on introduction to architecture, I jokingly made a statement that later got me thinking

I said to them that ‘even in 2017 some of us still design 1960 model buildings

After the class, I had to reminisce on that statement. Is it was true? What might be the features of a 2017 model building if there was any such thing?

This thought inspired today’s article. I am going to highlight some characteristics of the modern car, specifically a 2017 model vehicle.

Juxtapose that against a building and extrapolating certain similar, inferred or equivalent characteristics.

Comparing modern buildings with modern cars

Though it should be pointed out that choices in cars, especially the decision between New or old? Classic or Contemporary? High-tech or high-style? is subjective. According to Kinja;

Lovers of Old Cars.

On one side, you have people, who argue that old cars embody the soul and the passion of the automobile as an entity.

The raw, unadulterated experience of driving an old car is what creates an emotional bond. Usually between man and machine, and that bond can’t be created. Especially when there are so many computers helping you guide the car down the road.

Lovers of New Cars.

On the other side, you have people who have limited experience driving older cars.

They who love the fact that modern technology is constantly pushing the limits of what’s possible. Most can’t understand why you would want to commute in a manual vehicle.

These individuals  want their car to start up every morning and get them where they’re going quickly, comfortably, and safely.

The past is the past, and while it’s nice to remember and reminisce, weren’t there, and are perfectly happy to plow on towards the future.

Comparing modern buildings with modern cars

How it relates to buildings.

I will want to believe that this subjectivity applies to architecture as well. However, we should be able to tell what makes buildings 2017 model.

Knowing that we can eventually differentiate old from new model buildings just like automobiles.

It’s worrisome that even though buildings and building technologies is advancing, the coverage of these advancements are not as encompassing (geographically) as that of automobiles.

For example, when you come across an automobile designed or built in 2016/2017 in any part of the world, you assume without thinking that there must be new standards and features deployed in that vehicle. Irregardless of what part of the world that vehicle is.

Can this be said of buildings?

Generally speaking a new model vehicle has improved or optimized qualities in;

  • FORM: Materials and Aerodynamics
  • FUNCTION: Performance and Gadgets
  • STRUCTURE: Suspension and Safety

A comparison of these vis a vis a building, is discussed in the image below;

Comparing modern buildings with modern cars

Comparing modern buildings with modern cars

In Conclusion, The above suggestions are just personal opinions based on abbreviated analysis of information. However, it will be great for architects and regulatory bodies to specify standards, upgrades and new features periodically.

This will advance architecture and probably transform architectural outputs and buildings into products like automobiles.

Here, new model and improved architecture are released to the public annually or biannually.

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