Speculations on Future Architectural Developments
Back to Introduction to Architectural Visualization Unit Lesson Plans
- Grade level: Middle School, High School
- Subject Area: Social Studies
Students speculate about the kinds of structures that might be necessary for future generations to build. Students draw the structures they imagine.
- Develop an understanding of the connection between human-made structures and human culture by speculating about the kinds of structures architects might be called upon to build in the future (among other things, this will depend on the purpose of the structure and the materials available to create it).
Materials and Resources
In developing our lessons and activities, we made some assumptions about the hardware and software that would be available in the classroom for teachers who visit the LETSNet Website. We assume that teachers using our Internet-based lessons or activities have a computer (PC or Macintosh) with the necessary hardware components (mouse, keyboard, and monitor) as well as software (operating system, TCP/IP software, networking or dial-up software, e-mail and a World Wide Web client program, preferably Netscape, but perhaps Mosaic or Lynx). In the section below, we specify any "special" hardware or software requirements for a lesson or activity (in addition to those described above) and the level of Internet access required to do the activity.
- Special hardware requirements: None.
- Special software requirements: None.
- Internet access: High-speed (greater than 1 MBPS via network).
- Classroom materials: Pencils and paper.
- An integral part of architecture is the ability to develop ideas and convey them through drawings. To this end, have students think about the kinds of structures architects might be called upon to build in the future. Students should be creative in their speculations! It might be useful to provide hypothetical scenarios that could help students focus their drawings. Students can also come up with their own scenarios. Examples of hypothetical scenarios are listed below.
- The technology now exists to send large numbers of people to colonize the moon. Given what we know about the moon's environment (low gravity, no oxygen, etc.) what might a typical building or method of transportation look like?
- Earlier this century, the car replaced the horse and carriage as the transportation mode of choice. Now, the helicopter has replaced the car; people use helicopters as extensively as they used to use cars. How will this change in transportation mode change a structure like the gas station, the drive-in movie or restaurant, or the parking lot?
- Given what you know about modern information technologies and what you believe will happen to books and other traditional forms of media, design the library of the future.
- Design a building or other structure that doesn't exist today but that you believe will eventually become an integral component of everyday life (examples of past such structures include: the airport and the supermarket).
- Students should then draw the structure ideas they have developed, including reference to considerations such as materials needed, climate, number and types of people and uses.
- Odyssey of the Mind
The Odyssey of the Mind web site describes group problem-solving projects that are similar to the ones proposed above.