From society to architecture: 5 global trends

From society to architecture: 5 global trends

From society to architecture: 5 global trends


  • 1. Sustainable development

  • 2. Poetics of space

  • 3. Think Global, Eat Local

  • 4. Grounding and slowing down

  • 5. The Post-Covid era

Italian architect, Dominic BillariDesign trends have long been symbiotic with public sentiment. Moreover, our century requires an immediate response to any important event, and all processes in society are immediately reflected in the cultural component: whether it is the appearance of a building or the material from which the most trendy chair is made. Hodeys magazine spoke with Italian architect Dominic Billari about which global trends are particularly important today and how they are affecting design and architecture.

1. Sustainable development

According to Dominic, this is the most important trend of our time. First of all, we mean high-quality waste processing, which is respect for the planet and its ecosystems. If you go deeper, you will have to pay attention to how humanity of the XXI century relates to nature.

People in one way or another interact closely with her. And it was a tragic mistake for them to think in models of endless growth from an economic point of view. Despite the fact that in life all people are different, at the level of atoms and smaller particles, we differ from each other no more than from other elements of the Universe.

If we talk about architecture, then we are mainly talking about non-interference in the bioclimatic processes of nature: about high-quality processing of construction waste, about thermal insulation of building envelopes. All this will help to reduce the process of entropy and save humanity from energy waste. Nanotechnology and intelligent systems (without implanting subcutaneous chips, of course) will also help. The main thing is to treat the issue without fanaticism and extremism.

Designed by the Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta, Under Restaurant is designed as part of the local ecosystem.  Source:

Eco-friendly kindergarten in Italy by Mario Cucinella Architects.  Source:

2. Poetics of space

The Poetics of Space is the title of a book by French philosopher Gaston Bachelard, where he explores the nature of physical space, consciousness and poetry, and draws parallels between the construction of the house and the human ability to think and visualize.

House for Bashlyar is a special place for the concentration of the internal processes of human consciousness and a starting point for emotional experience. It is a space woven of poetic images, dreaminess and memories, a living manifesto of the soul. Rooms with dim lights where dreams and fantasies take shape. The philosopher draws a strong parallel between the structure of the house and the ability of a person to think and visualize.

The headquarters of the Czech factory Lasvit in the historic district of Novi Bor.  Source:

Crown Hall: Home of the College of Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.  The author of the project is Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.  Source:

3. Think Global, Eat Local

Globalization has shown its failure, causing global crises and environmental pollution. In architecture and urban spaces, it has developed into the so-called “no-places”, which were defined by the anthropologist Marc Augie.

“No-place” is a specific phenomenon in the social space of the hypermodern era. It is a space that, unlike the usual “place,” cannot be defined through history, relationships, and identity. These are the so-called exclusion zones – large shopping centers, airports, highways, planes and trains. Those locations in which a person is deprived of a sense of stability, reliable shelter. And there are more and more such “no-places” in our life.

The solution to the problem of “no-places” can be the concept of G-local (Global + Local): global perspectives with local identification, the so-called “Genius Loci” – an ancient concept that was brought back to us today by the Norwegian architect Christian Norberg Schultz. Genius Loci – “genius of a place” or “spirit of a place”: it is an intangible characteristic or property of a place that determines its uniqueness and position in the general order of things.

Home in Mexico with a traditional dry palm leaf roof, designed by Zozaya Arquitectos.  Source:

Matrimandir is a building for meditation and yoga practice in Auroville.  Designed by Roger Angers.  Source:

4. Grounding and slowing down

The latest technologies, the state of being “always in touch”, high demands on our own productivity – all this constitutes a new reality for which evolution has not prepared us, and which everyone has to cope with independently. Hence – an incredible interest in spiritual practices, the need to slow down, comprehend what is happening and reflection.

Interest in Eastern philosophical teachings about harmony – such as Chinese Feng Shui and Indian vastu – is not just an interior trend. The sciences related to the organization of interior and exterior space will help define and create a sacred space in the house, inside a person, inside every day and inside life in general.

Enveloping shapes and textures in penthouse interiors on the Gold Coast of Australia.  Design: CJH Studio.  Source:

S1NGLETOWN concept by design company Droog, presented at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2008.  Sources:,

5. The Post-Covid era

As a result of the unfolding pandemic, we are losing long-term perspective and cannot look to the future with the same confidence as before; guess and plan as before. As a result of the epidemic, people have the so-called right to isolation. However, the question arises: did we have this right only now? What if the inner isolation started mainly with the stress of trying to be super-efficient in a world where members are in touch with each other 24/7?

This grueling regime has spawned a huge production machine, in which there is no place for unique personalities and thinking that goes beyond the established norms. And the virus is not the only culprit for what is happening now. The time has come for humanity to comprehend this. Perhaps right now the moment has come when society needs to unite not only through technology, but also in real life.

Social isolation: a variant of public space zoning.  Idea by Centro Blengini Ghirardelli.  Source:

Copenhagen's Superkilen City Park by Superflex, BIG and Topotek 1. Source:

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About Leona Smith 115 Articles
Hello! My name is Silke and this is my travel blog. I want to show you fascinating places off the beaten track, give you a gentle introduction to history and culture, and help you get around Berlin. After 13 years in Sydney and Andalusia, I now live in Berlin, Germany. I am a travel writer, translator and book author. Read more about me here.

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