How "Unbuildable" Design Concepts Can Advance the Architectural Discipline
DISCOVER NEW INNOVATIVE POSSIBILITIES
When designing, it is important to consistently strive to push your body of work, so your next project is better than the last. Ideally, as you progress from design project to project, you are learning new insights and techniques that feed into future projects. But what about design projects that are conceptual, and “unbuildable”? Have you ever worked on a conceptual environmental design where the goal was not to build, but discover new innovative possibilities?
BENEFITS OF DESIGNING FOR THE “UNBUILDABLE”
Recently, I participated in a Mars urbanization conceptual design challenge. And while the Martian urban plan I created within a 3D virtual world is not going to be built anytime soon – it was a worthwhile exercise for many reasons. For instance, by designing for an environment on a different planet, I was able to practice and expand my creative process as I had to consider the Mars atmosphere and physics, pioneering and exploration phases, and the many other challenges that come from trying to support human life on Mars. All of these created paradigm shifts that allow me to see my design and creative process through a new lens – so I discover innovations not only for the field of architectural design, but also for my own creative process evolution.
In history, there have been times when an “unbuildable” concept, only realized on paper, was paradigm shifting – as such concepts served to shift the mindset of the people toward greater innovative possibilities for the future. I still find it fascinating to see these “unbuildable” concept drawings from yesteryear, and then to think about how our current “unbuildable” concepts will impact the future of our present time.
YOUR INVITATION TO DESIGN INTO THE FUTURE
Today, I invite you to take on an “unbuildable” design conceptualization challenge. Imagine how environments can be improved with your own “unbuildable” design concept. Doing this will allow you to think more expansively, to dream bigger, and to design toward different limitations and opportunities. Yes, it is important to keep designing toward buildable futures, but it is equally important to push your design abilities forward by taking on new, different, and bigger challenges. And while your conceptualizations may be “unbuildable” today, they may turn out to have great impact for how we continue to evolve into our buildable future.