Jun 2, 2015 | By Simon

With both the rise in feature films that take place in the future as well as dozens - if not hundreds - of technologies or design concepts that have been developed by everybody from scientists to architects and engineers to fantasy artists, it’s no surprise that the public’s interest in how we’ll be living within the next hundred years is at an all-time high.  

Among other factors that have been shaping the future of living include the depletion of natural resources and an increase in worldwide populations, which has inspired many to develop concepts that utilize less wasteful technologies and combine multiple ecosystems into more urban-friendly designs.  

At a recent “Tomorrow Transformed” panel, which featured a number of design, engineering and urban planning experts including Rhys Morgan, the director of engineering and education at the Royal Academy of Engineering in London, award-winning architects Arthur Mamou-Mani and Toby Burgess, and urbanist Linda Aitken, these concepts were discussed and predicted based on today’s available technologies and where the technologies might open up opportunities in the near future.  

Among other predictions that the panel made include temporary stackable housing pods, underwater cities, underground cities, urban farms that reside on top of high-rise buildings, buildings that feature their own microclimates and even 3D printed housing structures that can be purchased “off of the shelf” similar to existing consumer products.  

Although the panel’s predictions might come off as sounding slightly “out there” based on how we live today, the predictions are based on existing and proven engineering feats that existence today - just not at a mainstream scale.

"There is rarely a 'eureka' moment … as such, engineering feats which are currently out of reach require time for the pieces to fit together and the minds responsible for developing the ideas to work through all the wrong avenues before achieving what is currently impossible," said Rhys Morgan.

"Breakthroughs in engineering work in the same way as breakthroughs in literature, music and lifestyle -- an accumulation of different discoveries (or influences) is required to create the final catalyst for a new discovery.”

The predictions were compiled to mark the launch of “Impossible Engineering,” a new TV show that is launching on the UK channel Yesterday.  In addition to the predictions, 2,000 people were polled to see which futuristic ideas they hoped would become a reality within the next one-hundred years.  Among others, super-deep basement complexes (essentially an underground high-rise) that included hotels, restaurants, gyms, swimming pools and shopping centers topped the list.

As anybody who has been following additive manufacturing news knows, the concept of 3D printed housing is already in practice; companies from around the world have been actively developing large-scale 3D printers that are capable of working with existing earth materials to build structures that are capable of living in.

Between underground living complexes that feature swimming pools and movie theaters, urban farms that grow fresh produce locally and 3D printed houses that can be built at a low cost, the future doesn’t look too bad after all.  



Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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