Convergence Architecture: Could Architecture be on the verge of a newer, smarter Machine for Living?
Updated: Sep 6
The mid-century architect, Le Corbusier and his contemporaries mused that their Modern architecture was a result of the new machine age (electric appliances were becoming the norm and all the rage at the time). This resulted in a design philosophy called “La Machine” - a machine for living - which was the genesis of a new style of architecture - their sharp, straight, machine edged architecture.
Lessons from the Modern Movement
When done well, by the best talent: Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, John Johansen, Marcel Breuer, Bauhaus, etc. it was a work of art. But, when attempted by lesser talent or copycats it resulted in barren wastelands of emotionless space serving no true life as Architecture, but merely storage space for a man’s or woman’s life. And while the leaders of this age of architecture created beautiful works, the architecture never really fulfilled the philosophy of the Modern movement by becoming a machine for living. It was, at the end of the day, a static work of architecture, albeit wonderful.
A New Digital Machine Age
We are at a new and different “La Machine” age in Architecture today. Digital machines and artificial intelligence make the definition of “Machine” more of a living breathing thing. The convergence of technologies has made this the opportunity to put “La Machine” into the hands of today’s talented architects for a new breed and style of Architecture. We have a convergence, “Convergent Architecture”, of technology, machine architecture, healthy living awareness, mental wellness design, circadian rhythmic programming, biometric design, energy “loop circuits”, high level building performance and learning by building systems.
Role of Architects
Guidance by talented architects is more important than ever to navigate and converge these things to tailor the Architecture to its intended occupants, their well being and function. Furthermore, to design the Architecture and systems to partner with the occupants biorhythms, emotion, temperature, activity, sleep cycle, work schedule, type of weather, angle of the sun, etc.
Have you awakened to your living style pattern and environments to find it changing to make you more productive, more comfortable, happier? A worldwide lockdown has elevated the awareness of the population of the world to the importance of the kind of and design of the spaces we live in. This is the domain of the profession of Architecture. Architects design space.
As an Architect, I can make you claustrophobic, sad, happy, expansive, top of world, a minion and any other emotion with the spaces that I design for you to occupy. Of course there are other factors in your life as well that are very important to emotions, but imagine how you felt when you entered that great Cathedral, St. Peter’s in England and looked up to the “sky” of the great vaults, or the catacombs of Rome and looked down into the cramped spaces. There are very different feelings of space and emotions in these two very different spaces. This IS Architecture.
Age of Convergence
In this age of Convergence, the tools and palette of architecture have expanded and improved to where we can design a “Machine for [productive, happy, wellness] Living” now, and have it actually be a machine not only in theory, but also in function. The age of the machine is here. So which prodigious clients and builders are going to be the first to go there? Hand the Architect the reins and a new style of Architecture is about to evolve! It is an exciting time, this Convergence. I’m excited to see what new great works of Architecture come out of it!