Expert Corner


New architectural challenge: "now and forever"

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If themes such as the precariousness of our existences have long been dealt with exclusively in philosophical publications and with its jargon, the last half century has seen the human condition of precariousness becoming a shared sentiment and a search for personal identity.

The sociologist Zygmund Bauman introduced the idea of liquid modernity to define the increasing feeling of uncertainty according to which a man flows through his own life as a nomad. This fluid condition pertains to every sphere of life: from the job, which changes from time to time, or the many expats in search of new job opportunities, to personal relations that became fluid too with their new forms and the recent related acknowledgments. Finally, a new sense of awareness is pervading our society.

Traditional patterns have been replaced by self-chosen ones, and housing reflects this modern trend changing the modus vivendi of western society. The post-war Japanese architectural movement of metabolism has first reflected this human condition, defined neo-nomadism by Kurokawa’s, to represent the society as a vital process in continuous development and, namely the condition of most Japanese workers.

Kurokawa’s Nakagin Capsule Tower is a mixed-use residential and office tower made up prefabricated capsules that can be combined together or removed, in order to follow the movements of the dweller. A futuristic project that could answer to an actual need, but not yet developed in Europa, which is becoming always more fleeing.

Contradiction are not lacking, from long-lasting loans to scarce flexibility in bank lending.

Reaching a steady state is becoming more difficult: “now and forever” belongs to our past, a naive legacy of our society. Nevertheless, those two concepts can merge to create a new concept of house, a new feeling of shelter and acceptance of our new identity. A home that goes beyond our dimension and where the spirit can find its peace, far from external clashes.