Judging by the swift changes in design of phones and computers, I have conviction that designers of buildings should take cue. Architects have some lessons they can derive from this, lest they are caught in a time warp.
In the mobile phone arena, the Android operating system overtook
Back to architecture, the current building and construction technology in use in the country is quite rigid. For instance, once a house is built, it is not easy to change the room, door or window sizes, as well as the roof shape, among other features.
In coming years, architects will have to design buildings that give occupiers more options, most of which will be customised. A basic lesson from the mobile phones and computers market shows that if you don't adapt, you get decimated, even extinct.
Today, with the advent of the smart glass technology, it is now possible for users to change the transparency or translucency of glass just with the touch of a button. This option can be included in smart house design.
As for roofs, angles can be designed while incorporating smart technology such that at the touch of a button, a rooftop can switch to flat to create a balcony and revert back. Such retractable surfaces can also be used to cover swimming pools so that the surface can be used as solid ground when need be.
Similarly, partitioned rooms can easily be enjoined or separated by employing retractable technology. In such an instance, partitioning walls can fold into wall cabinets to create room. Balconies can be designed to easily change into solid wall facades if occupiers require this. Furniture can also be retractable into walls.
Back to the mobile phone market, many of these gadgets today come with several interchangeable faces, usually of different colours. In the built environment, facades can be designed for interchanging. Textures of different colours can thus be used for external surfaces. At present, there is a range of luxury vehicles that can easily change exterior colours.
The more adaptability features the future smart house will have the more demand there will be for this calibre of architectural services. Entrepreneurs will need to innovate custom-made adaptability features such as exterior paints, swimming pools, glass, roofs and furniture to suit the trend.
Gichuhi is a practising architect and principal consultant at A4architect.com.
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