Have you ever wondered what Architecture really is? Some people say it’s a field where art meets engineering. By definition, Architecture is, “the art or practice of designing and constructing buildings.” This all sounds very technical and generic in nature, but when you ask an Architect on his/her views about Architecture, they only have one thing to say, “Architecture is a way of life!!!” We architects are so deeply absorbed into this vast field that we relate our day-to-day lives to our profession. The best part about architecture is that you come across something new every day. While this can be very demanding in terms of keeping constant updates, it is also very enthralling to see so many new & interesting things coming up. With the advent of the ‘World Wide Web’, the entire globe has shrunk and there is world of opportunities in every field. The most important commodity given by the internet revolution is information. One has access to all the databases worldwide, where we can find any information we want on any subject. The sharing of knowledge has led to many cutting edge innovations in different fields, and so as well in the field of Architecture. The last couple of decades has seen a tremendous rise of Architecture as a profession. Iconic towers around the world going upto 800m in height was only a dream a few years back. The constant demands of human beings to strive for more is the inspiration behind this success.
One of the technologies that is just getting up on its feet in the Architecture & Construction world is Nanotechnology. After its tremendous success in the medical industry where it helped develop new medicines to cure diseases, nanotechnology is making its way up to the construction industry. I’ll be posting my research on Nanotechnology in Architecture in my upcoming blogs.
An intro to what is Nanotechnology:
There is currently an extraordinary amount of interest in nanomaterials and nanotechnologies, terms now familiar not only to scientists, engineers, architects, and product designers but also to the general public. Nanomaterials and nanotechnologies have been developed as a consequence of truly significant recent advances in the material science community. Their use, in turn, is expected to have enormous consequences on the design and engineering of everything from common consumer products and buildings all the way through sophisticated systems that support a wealth of applications in the automotive, aerospace, and other industries. Hopes exist for being able to make things smaller, lighter, or work better than is possible with conventional materials. Thus it becomes very important to understand what exactly this technology is?
What is nanotechnology?
Nano (symbol n) is a prefix in the International Systems unit denoting a factor of 10-9. The term “Nanotechnology” refers to the study, design, synthesis, manipulation, and application of materials, devices and functional systems by controlling matter at the nanoscale. Nanotech is the study of the control of matter on an atomic and molecular scale.
Imagine dissociating a human body into its most fundamental blocks. We would collect a considerable portion of gases, namely hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen; sizeable amounts of carbon and calcium, small fractions of several metals such as iron, magnesium, and zinc; and tiny levels of many other chemical elements. The total cost of these materials would be less than the cost of a good pair of shoes. Are we humans worth so little? Obviously not, mainly because it’s the arrangement of these elements and the way they are assembled that allow humans to eat, talk, think and reproduce. In this context, we could ask ourselves: What if we could follow nature and build whatever we want, atom by atom/molecule by molecule?
Crazy idea, isn’t it? But that’s the question that we need to constantly ask ourselves, ‘What if?’ The birth of any new invention starts with this question. This is exactly the theme of this bog, to welcome new innovative ideas no matter how crazy they sound. It’s about time that we ‘Re-think Architecture’ with a completely new vision for the future.
A small brief on Nano-Architecture (Nanotechnology + Architecture):
The use of nanotechnology in architecture is wide and varies from the early stages of design concept to the final touches of finishing especially in choosing the right materials which will not only reflect the design but also build a great influence in thinking architecture with vast options that this technology offers. With the building construction and operations estimated to be a trillion dollar per year industry worldwide it is to be expected that Nanomaterials and nanotechnology will play an increasing role in the industry.
In the next blog, I’ll post about the different approaches in nanotechnology supported with some precedent studies on nanomaterials used in the construction of structures worldwide.