Asian Architect

A New Way of Viewing Construction in Marin County

At the beginning of one of the Lord of the Rings films, a somber but epic voice over states, “The world is changed.” While it may seem a bit dramatic, people are starting to realize that the way we design cities is changing in a dramatic and fascinating fashion. Instead of trying to start from scratch, universities are now teaching their architecture students to consider building upon existing planning and structures in a big way. Here’s an overview of one program that takes this view into consideration, and how their view could have a domino effect on the architectural learning process.

Rice University has opened a dynamic masters program that aims to “explore alternative views on… how cities are designed.”
Students don’t even need to necessarily have an undergraduate degree in architecture to enter the program. In the first semester, they’ll be studying the new towns of Hong Kong, which have been invented since the 1950s to deal with growing population in the region. The cities are unique since they were designed and then completed usually within a five-year span and are still in operation 50 years later.

This could give birth to a new generation of architects that consider a new view of building on existing plans.
Instead of always starting from the assumption of a fresh slate or original design, we may soon see the world’s up-and-comers in architecture be those who can design create fresh designs over existing infrastructures, especially with over 250 people estimated to be moving to Asians cities within the next 20 years, where space is often at a premium. Luxury homes, in particular, often benefit from an Asian architectural aesthetic that has been favored in the design of many popular mansions.

How can you make use of this knowledge in your project today?
While there can be satisfaction in building a home from the foundations in the event that you have a particular vision in mind, consider getting ahead of the curve by planning a new home or home improvements based on existing features either in your home itself or based on the features in Marin around you. For example, use your kitchen remodel to also realign your windows and maximize your views.

Construction and architecture are constantly changing. Rice University has found a way to introduce its students to a new way of viewing the world by transporting them half way around it. Stay ahead of the curve by a considering some of their program’s tenants in your Marin project today.

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