A wise man once told me that a good Architect should always look ahead of a project, always foreseeing the effects of decisions we make in present time. Nonetheless, this operational technique is applicable to many professionals and mostly any situation in normal life. In the same line, Futurists and Design Scientists are directly proportionate to Architects, they too have to look forward into new technologies and designs within science, that might fix a present situation, and that is defined as innovation.
Richard Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller, was an Architect of ideas, of innovation and creation among everything else. Yes, on a shrine I have to put him, because he was a man that lived as an inventor, a futurist and scientist, always doing something different aside to Architecture, or yet to reinforce a good design. In ode to helping humanity somehow, he understood that shelter wasn’t the only option to help, he tried many other ways such as transportation, education, studies in ecology and understanding problems in poverty too.
His famous structure: the geodesic dome, although abstracted from German Engineer Walther Bauersfeld who built it for the purpose of a planetarium in 1912, became one of the most utilized structures among Architects and Engineers. For now, I will concentrate on what Bucky means to our profession, focus on Design Scientists and Futurists, the Arfifacts.
What is a Futurist?
I take this space to reveal, for those who haven’t wondered what exactly is considered or defined as a Futurist. According to the Association of Professional Futurists, this is how a Futurist is defined and deploys:
A professional futurist is a person who studies the future in order to help people understand, anticipate, prepare for and gain advantage from coming changes. It is not the goal of a futurist to predict what will happen in the future […] A futurist usually does not set out to describe “the future”. Generally a futurist is called upon to help make a decision, solve a particular problem, adapt to a coming change, or identify paths towards innovation.
In a world of possibilities on which we live in, there are millions of ideas waiting to be exposed, uncovered, analyzed and proven. But for this we need to look forward, we need to start developing thoughtful ideas, and stop being default and follow the mass. Become an outcast.
Lately I have been influenced by so many bright people in my world and in the scientific world that Bucky led us once, and today there are so many young people moving forward with outstanding ideas that will one day solve us so many problems we encounter today, evidenced with works in a previous post.
What is Design Science?
For this definition, I will include what the Buckminster Fuller Institute defines as Design Science right after quoting Bucky’s idea of introducing artifacts into the environment to solve human problems:
The function of what I call design science is to solve problems by introducing into the environment new artifacts, the availability of which will induce their spontaneous employment by humans and thus, coincidentally, cause humans to abandon their previous problem-producing behaviors and devices.
Genius. So if Architects are trained to be problem solvers, why stick to the basics of project development? It is a broad profession nonetheless, but thankfully there are schools in Puerto Rico working on it, exposing future architects to be design scientists and futurists. Others are already teaching and blogging from Puerto Rico like: Architect Fernando Abruña who designs environmentally friendly and is an innovator of the environmental architecture; Architect Edlyn García, who is exploring Bioclimatic issues towards architectural skins and biomimesis; Architect Wilfredo Méndez who studies joint bones for innovative designs.
As I seek towards the endless possibilities of exploring new materials, it is been told the journey is long, but there is no mislead road, than the one that hasn’t been taken.
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