Design & Build Review: Issue 39

In this issue: dementia-friendly homes, in conversation with nomadic architecture practise Red Deer and are prefabs the future of building?


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As the designers of the world in which we live, architects are forever faced with the challenge of responding to changing societal trends, a phenomenon that has arguably shaped every architectural movement over the last century, if not beyond.

And in 2017, the challenges architects need to respond to a complex and hugely varied. In this issue, we look at three of them.

Housing shortages never seem to be out of the news. It is a problem that is likely to persist for the foreseeable future, and short of vast expenditure, there seems little in the way of an easy fix. However, while architects can only do so much with their budgets, construction innovations may offer a different solution. We look at the changing world of prefabricated construction to discover whether this could become a blueprint for future housing developments, and what impact it could have on the field.

Communications, too, are transforming the world we live in, making remote working not only possible but, for many people, the norm. And now, it has come to architecture. We speak to nomadic architecture practise Red Deer to find out how the working style works, and what benefits it brings.

Finally, there is the thorny issue of the ageing populations that occupy much of the western world. There are a plethora of challenges this produces, one of which is dementia. For many this debilitating disease means entry into a retirement community, however with such large numbers of people set to be diagnosed over the next few decades, other solutions are being sought. We look at the model dementia-friendly home currently under construction in the UK to find out what design challenges the disease presents, and what architects can do to help.

Plus, we hear from MVRDV co-founder Winy Maas about how future homes could be designed to morph to meet their owners’ needs and consider the ethical challenges posed by smart stadiums. And if that wasn’t enough, we also look as some of the exciting new projects to break ground in the last month and consider some of the latest materials, fixtures and fittings to catch our eye.

As always, the issue is available to read for free on iPad through our app, or on a desktop computer using our web viewer.

In this Issue

Breaking Ground
Designs are only a part of the process to making buildings a reality, and until construction starts a design is nothing more than a concept. We look at some of the key projects from across the world that have broken ground in the last few months.
Read the article.

The Nomadic Practise
Once only possible for a handful of fields, nomadic working has quickly become a viable option for a host of different industries – including architecture. We speak to nomadic architecture practise Red Deer about the benefits of this unorthodox working style.
Read the article.

The Dementia-Friendly Home
A dementia-friendly demonstration home will soon open in Watford, the UK. We hear from Dr David Kelly, group director of BRE Innovation Parks, about the project and how the industry as a whole can better meet the challenges of this debilitating disease.
Read the article.

Flexible Future Vision
Could the cities of the future be made up of homes that can morph to suit their occupants’ needs? Winy Maas, co-founder of MVRDV and director of The Why Factory, explained the potential of such an idea to Design Indaba during the Design Indaba Conference in Cape Town earlier this year.
Read the article.

The Prefab Revolution
Prefabricated buildings are by no means a new concept, but they have become an ever-growing trend of late, fuelled by construction innovation, serious housing shortages and cost savings. We ask architects if prefab will dominate the industry in the future, and if so, how the industry should respond.
Read the article.

Fields of Dreams or Nightmares?
Tomorrow’s sports stadiums have more in common with Las Vegas casinos than sporting arenas, and include shops, dining, bars, VR experiences and luxury lounges all in one convenient location. They’re also data-generating behemoths. We look at whether smart stadiums are being designed to swell fanbases or whether they’re just a new way for companies to plunder our data.
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New In
New materials, fixtures and fittings are always coming onto the market, with manufacturers forever trying to keep up with changing design trends and new technological advancements. We profile some of our favourites to be launched in the last few months.
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Next issue preview

In the next issue of Design & Build Review, out in August, we’ll be looking at how architects can ensure fire safety in light of the Grenfell tragedy.

We’ll also explore how the world’s first vertical forest city is taking integrated planting to a new level in architecture, and consider how cross-laminated timber projects are improving healthcare design.

Plus we’ll investigate how a new UK government initiative around at-home power generation and storage can be translated into meaningful and practical designs for private clients.

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