The Future of Fabric Structures
Fabric is one of the oldest materials humans have used for shelter; it remains an important material with diverse applications in design and construction today, and it will play an even more important role in the constructed environment in the future.
Predictions of energy scarcity and resource depletion, exacerbated by the burgeoning middle class in developing countries like China and India, point to ensuing decades of high commodity prices and fuel shortages. In these circumstances, existing resources and structures will be valued more highly, and traditional, energy-intensive practices like “raze and rebuild”—in which buildings are demolished to make way for others—will be less attractive. Instead, architects and builders will have to be more resourceful in their treatment of existing contexts and materials.