A Necessary Architecture: Tropical Design Beyond The Aesthetics

The love for anything western is at times adopted without forethought. More so when the Influence and Representation of Media with Western Architecture and Engineering have created a sense of aesthetic that is generally appreciated.

For example, a cube-shaped house that is repeated in different environments in versions that are periodically used as inexhaustible programs. This occurrence, among with many others manifests as a feedback loop, creating a repertory of similar-looking buildings, leading to a globalized mainstream architecture. 

It is fair to recognize, however, that there is a trend and ongoing conversations on Regional and Tropical Architecture; Initiatives such as design competitions, each with a unique design based on the local culture and the environment.

To design a coherent and adapted Tropical Architecture, we must recognize the values of nature and its rigor. When one includes the environment and the users, an observer becomes reflective. Familiarity with this new regionalized aesthetic is achieved when we consider local circumstances. Without, understanding the challenges of the design appreciation of architecture will be complete.

Architecture has the potential and the possibility of capturing the experiential needs and environmental human contingencies.

From a broader perspective, architects must make efforts to reduce the ecological footprint buildings impose and move towards a more balanced relationship with the environment. Such is achieved by recognizing the the needs of tropical latitudes, and demonstrating the process by involving technological appropriate advancements, while maintaining the potential of a good design.

One must also involve human conditions and demonstrate how local culture guides the design. By doing this, people will naturally adapt to the spatiality of the place, facilitating appreciation and recognition.

And in many ways, tropical architecture is sustainable. Regardless of region, buildings should respond to climate and environmental conditions. Tropical architecture is far more than a style, trend or aesthetic. Its functionality makes it a critical part of good design.

Photos courtesy of Ed Simon