Centennial Scholars Imagine the Future of Architecture

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The School of Architecture’s Centennial Scholarship Fund provides scholarships and fellowships for current architecture students. The field’s changed considerably since the school’s founding 1913, and will continue to respond to technological advances, social demands, and environmental needs. In celebration of their awards, we asked this year’s Centennial Scholars to imagine the future of architecture. 

Aysegul Akturk is in the sustainable design MS track. Her goal is to
become an architecture professor and create new kinds of studios. For
example, she noted that “I think we need to update the theory of
restoration or create a ‘new theory’ that includes […] sustainability,
modernity, and preservation.” Akturk believes that architects should
help mitigate buildings’ negative effects on the natural environment by
designing with occupant lifestyles, public health, and material sourcing
in mind. She imagines a future where “biomimicry will be more advanced.
We will include sophisticated renewable energy resources to our
buildings. They will follow the regenerative design approach.
Sustainable design will be the law.”

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John Rice is in the fourth year of his BDA, and plans to design
residential buildings. He believes that architecture can have a
broad and positive impact; for example, tiny houses to fight poverty in
the face of overpopulation. And he thinks that design thinking will
remain relevant in the face of changing technologies. “I believe that
construction in 100 years will be less reliant on humans, but
architecture will still need a human touch,” he said. “Architects today
have been swaying away from the ‘master craftsmen’ of earlier centuries
and more to the ‘artistic’ side of design, but in 100 years I predict
architects will become more adapted to a scientific approach because of
how radically technology will change construction.”

Parul Jain is also in the sustainable design track of our MS program, focusing on community-engaged design, institutional buildings, and affordable housing. Jain sees “an increasing need for awareness around taking a holistic approach towards sustainability.” She thinks that as technological insights from other fields will allow architecture to reach new heights, and believes that architects have the power to transform the world. “Once we all collectively start looking at sustainability holistically – i.e. taking into consideration social, cultural, environmental and economic factors – we will be able to solve all the grand challenges like poverty and climate change.”

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Anthony Cherek is earning his BS in Architecture, and is interested in working in public interest design. “The role of an architect goes beyond just creating buildings that work well,” he explained. Cherek thinks that designers have the power to promote sustainability and educate the public about new methods and materials. “In order for our planet to survive, we need to find sustainable ways to build that do not harm the earth. In order for an architect to remain competitive in the workplace, he will need to be comfortable working to incorporate the ever-changing technologies.”

Thank you to all who gave to the Centennial Scholarship, paving the way for another century of achievement!