Throughout time, and for various reasons, architecture has been transformed to make everything we know as physical history.
In the last 2000 years, we have realized how much architecture adapts, either by the constructive form abandoning the large blocks of stone and adopting lighter form and materials, or by the climatic needs where these changes require a new model of architectural development, or simply by necessity, as our priorities change throughout history.
Wars, droughts, plagues among other catastrophes have changed the narrative of how architecture presents itself. A good example is "brutalism", an architecture that gains strength from mass destruction and housing shortages in much of Europe after World War II. Another example is Japanese buildings, whose architects and engineers, already accustomed to earthquakes, create damping systems to keep buildings standing, even if the earthquake is of great magnitude.
Historical events have a direct reflection on the way we live and inhabit, this suggests that - at the current time of pandemic, where we can barely leave home - we will have to rethink our form of architecture and society even more.
Perhaps more open spaces with greater air circulation or use of aseptic materials, in order to make our homes more resistant to any external conditioning. Even more important will be to use technology for sustainable and nature-conscious construction.
Perhaps the secret right now is to focus on one question: How would we like to live in the coming years?
The importance of architecture
Architecture, as we know it, is not always able to provide immediate answers to the problems that society faces. Yet, in one way or another it is always present, to show how the world evolves.
In times of pandemic, building facades and large monuments become important vehicles of communication in all countries, not only to send a message of support and hope, but also to alert everyone to the needed precautions to take at this time.
During the pandemic in which we live, China, started using this tool, which until then was used only for marketing. Countries like Brazil, Egypt, United Arab Emirates among many others, used the same artifices, with the use of LED screens and super projectors, giving even more life to these monuments.
Therefore, we cannot give all the credit for this practice to current events, however, it reminds us that architecture, directly or indirectly, was and always will be one of the oldest ways to tell the history of mankind.
Text: Ricardo Cavichioni
Source: Jornal El Pais