The Future of Design: Architect Daniel Libeskind’s Predictions
Architect Daniel Libeskind shares his favorite innovations from the past quarter century… and the ones that will change the world in the next 25 years.
From Berlin’s famously gut-wrenching Jewish Museum to the lovely, light-filled Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Daniel Libeskind’s buildings are deeply evocative—but also sleek and silvery.
Best of the Past
LIVING ROOMS MOVED OUTSIDE“Urban homes became smaller and green space larger, so city ‘living rooms’ went outside. Buildings’ footprints shrank so the public spaces surrounding them could grow. My design for One World Trade Center, for instance, made room for gardens and outdoor seating, and the building’s huge doors will encourage people to drift outside.”
SUBSTANCE BECAME ONE WITH STYLE “Buildings became living, breathing entities rather than abstractions imposed on the environment. We stopped judging their height or shape and instead asked, ‘What does this space do for the people inside?’ The building process became smarter, too: Intelligent skins conserved water and energy, construction became carbon-neutral, sunlight was exploited, and orientation and function were considered as carefully as in ancient times.”
NATIONS DECLINED AS CITIES ROSE UP “Cities reinvented themselves as the world became more pluralistic—places like Shanghai and Beijing are competing for recognition within the old national border.”
EVERYONE WILL BE AN ARCHITECT “Architectural software, once expensive and complicated, will be cheap and user-friendly enough for the average person to create his own blueprint, or work with an architect to create (or re-create) a space—no matter his budget.”
INDIVIDUALIZATION WILL REIGN “Mass production is out. Customization—choosing just the right window, door, and room shape—will be attainable for all. The home will be an extension of the self, containing exactly what one person or family needs to live happily. The basic ideas of architecture will return to being focused on the person, not the ideology.”
ROOMS WILL CHANGE IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE “First, glass will turn opaque or transparent based on the level of the sun; then we’ll be able to adjust a room’s light and temperature by blinking our eyes. Before we know it, wooden floors will transform into stone floors when you step on them. We’re closer to our dreams than we realize.”
SMALL SPACES WILL MAKE US SMARTER “The pressure of urbanization will help human creativity. Already, New Yorkers are smarter than people who live in gigantic houses: They’re creative about organizing their spaces—and their lives.”
HISTORIC CITIES WILL GET MODERN “It sometimes feels as if cities like Paris and Venice have been coated with formaldehyde and turned into museums. The old formulas of ‘respecting context’ won’t work. We must create a new context and puncture past beauty with raw, powerful contemporary architecture—buildings that shock and amaze and bring out the romance of relics of Victorian and ancient times. It was once true that the palace, Palladian villas, and churches were architectural, while the other structures in a city were just buildings. But I think the art of architecture is ready to come out in every single structure we erect.”