Action to address gender imbalance
In the wake of the MeToo campaign and numerous sexual scandals, architecture’s focus was placed firmly on the actions need to address the profession’s continuing gender imbalance. Dezeen launched the Move the Needle initiative to improve gender equality, while the UK government made the the country’s largest studios reveal their gender-pay disparity.
Elizabeth Diller, who was included on this year’s Time 100 list, said the industry was undergoing a dramatic change, while Odile Decq, Farshid Moussavi and Manuelle Gautrand protested against discrimination in architecture at the Venice biennale.
However, the deep issues facing the industry were highlighted when the architecture world was rocked by a string of sexual harassment accusations levelled at Pritzker Prize-winning architect Richard Meier.
Co-working gains momentum
As office culture and working patterns continue to evolve, co-working spaces have been popping up all over our major cities. In London, WeWork, which now employs Bjarke Ingels as its chief architect, opened within Stirling’s No 1 Poultry, while nightclub the Ministry of Sound also made a move into co-working.
Other shared working spaces included an aquamarine co-working space in Warsaw, a homely space in Copenhagen and a co-working space in a former brewery in Brno, Czech Republic. Female-only co-working spaces also opened, in Toronto and within an old Brooklyn paper factory.
Indoor arches are on-trend
This year arched forms have increasing been used in interior spaces. In shops, arches were used by Apparatus to define spaces in a Los Angeles showroom to resemble moody paintings, and by Spanish studio Clap at a kids shoe store in Valencia.
Arches also appeared in a dim-sum eatery in Hong Kong, the Bar Lotus in Shanghai, and numerous residential projects including a Parisian pied-à-terre, pair of Tribeca lofts and coral-pink Barcelona apartment.
Off-grid homes become popular
The increasingly levels of technology in our lives is leading many people to seek a less complex life and either live, or holiday, in off-grid homes.
An off-grid home alongside a loch was named RIBA House of the Year 2018, while a prefabricated home with a micro-farming wall was showcased at the United Nations Headquarters and Slovakian firm Nice Architects created a ggg-shaped micro home for off-griders.
For those looking for a brief escape, off-grid holiday homes surrounded by speculator scenery appeared in the southern California desert, on the border between Turkey and Greece, and in the Cairngorms National Park in Scotland.