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Arup Foresight talks to CLAD about healthy wellness buildings and holistic design

The global foresight manager at international architecture and engineering firm Arup has told CLAD that closer collaboration between architects, designers, developers and investors is essential if the buildings of the future are to successfully boost our health and wellbeing.

Josef Hargrave said the increasingly sophisticated demands we make of our buildings necessitate a more holistic approach in how they are designed and developed.

“We’re moving from a world where building design has been driven to a large degree by sustainability targets to one where the impact on user and health and wellbeing is being increasingly considered,” he said.

“The horizon and breadth of things that architects and designers have to consider to achieve this is always increasing, and as a consequence the complexity of getting it right grows.”

Hargrave pointed to the raft of new technologies, environmental materials and waste, water and heating systems that can be incorporated into buildings to reduce energy use and facilitate energy production.

“Energy systems will become more complex going forward so we need a more reactive and responsive way of design,” he said. “The only way to thrive is to embrace total architecture – the idea that everyone on the project team should be aware of everyone's needs and capabilities and the agreed path forwards. Everyone should have a basic understanding of lighting, for example.

“Without this, you can create something that has components which are all designed in an excellent way, but doesn't work as a whole.

“There are always competing interests from various stakeholders – from the investor who wants to see a return, to the community who want to make sure their needs are considered, and the designer who wants the best quality outcome. Our work is to bring them together holistically.”

Arup’s Foresight team is an internal think-tank and consultancy which tracks the changing design trends impacting built environments, and how they might overcome challenges such as growing and shrinking populations, climate change and inequality. They have recently released a report on how our cities could look and function in the year 2050.

Asked by CLAD to outline how the design of leisure buildings is changing, Hargrave said they are increasingly being created and controlled “like the operating system on your phone.”

“It's going to be much more platform based in the future,” he explained. “In hotels, for example, you’ll download an app to control your lighting and control your heating and cooling system in a way that is much more compatible and integrated than it is right now.

“Going from this notion of a silo system to something that follows the principles of an app will create many more opportunities to customise solutions within buildings and cities and provide greater control for the individual.”

“There will also be new forms of leisure and new forms of sport – drone racing for example – so there’s lots of cool stuff happening in that space that can be explored.

“A whole raft of consumer-focused trends will be driven by tech, but these are very difficult to project. There will always be new surprises – like the scale and capability of virtual reality – but how that will change people’s experiences of spaces and places remains a big unknown.”

Arup  Arup Foresight  future  architecture  design  built environment  Josef Hargrave 
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The global foresight manager at international architecture and engineering firm Arup has told CLAD that closer collaboration between architects, designers, developers and investors is essential if the buildings of the future are to successfully boost our health and wellbeing. Josef Hargrave said the increasingly sophisticated demands we make of our buildings necessitate a more holistic approach in how they are designed and developed. “We’re moving from a world where building
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Hargrave said the increasingly sophisticated demands we make of our buildings necessitate a more holistic approach in how they are designed and developed / Arup
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