What kind of glass architecture will be built in 2050, 40 years from now?
What is wanted here is not a prediction of the future. We are interested in thoughts and actions that will shape the world 40 years from now. We ask what glass should be like in 2050 and what we must do to realize that future, step by step. The future does not arrive automatically. It is the result of a process through which we, who live in the present, build, step by step. We want to think about ways that glass will be used in the designs of 2050, which will be different from designs we use today, even though the glass itself will still be glass.
“Design 2050” is the theme of the next world congress of the International Union of Architects (UIA), to be held in Tokyo in September 2011. It will consider the environmental, urban, and lifestyle environments that will likely be encountered in 2050, and examine forward looking design processes that will contribute to realizing a better future.
The theme of this year's Central Glass International Architectural Design Competition was selected to resonate with the theme of the UIA congress, and the final judging will take place during the congress, at the same venue - the Tokyo International Forum. Many congress participants are expected to attend the final public judging.
In modern architecture, it was a point of pride that glass can be used in the same way in any environment, anywhere in the world.
But as time went on, differences emerged according to region, environment, and application. Different expressions are available through the use of double or triple glazing and combinations with louvers or other elements. The relationships between glass and architecture will no doubt continue to diversify. In response to new trends and developments, the principal function of transparency may enable new kinds of design. Alternatively, when thinking about 40 years into the future, it may be helpful to consider the different ways that glass is used now compared to 40 years ago.
In any case, it is certain that glass will play an important role in the architecture of 2050. We would like to see proposals that deliver the results of positive thinking about paths toward a glass architecture that will contribute to richer lives in 2050.