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Josef Hargrave

Global foresight manager

Phone icon +44 (0) 20 7636 1531
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It’s Alive

It’s Alive

Josef Hargrave
Global Foresight Manager
foresight@arup.com
+44 (0) 20 7636 1531

What will buildings in our cities look like in 2050?

It’s Alive explores the future look and functionality of buildings in 2050. With structures that are fully integrated into the fabric of the city, responsive to changes in the external environment, and designed for continuous adaptability, according to real-time needs and demands of its users.

This forward-thinking report is illustrated with a series of artist’s impressions, to demonstrate how the futuristic components – such as photovoltaic surfaces and algae producing bio-fuel pods – can theoretically enable buildings to produce food, energy and resources.

In the ecological age, buildings do not simply create spaces, they craft environments. They function as part of an urban ecosystem, promote more environmentally conscious and efficient resource management, and actively contribute to the unique needs of the individual user, as well as the wider requirements of the city. By producing food and energy, and providing clean air and water, buildings evolve from being passive shells, into adaptive and responsive organisms – living and breathing structures supporting the cities of tomorrow.

By 2050, the human population will have reached 9 billion people with 75% of the world’s inhabitants living in cities. We do not want to predict what the built environment may look like in almost 40 years’ time, but offer insight and inspiration for what could happen.

Josef Hargrave
Global Foresight Manager