Authors: G. Elvin
Affilation: Ball State University, United States
Pages: 551 - 552
Keywords: nanotechnology, design, architecture, construction, materials
Nanotechnology has the potential to transform the built environment dramatically. According to the Interagency Working Group on Nanoscience, Engineering, and Technology, nanotechnology “is likely to change the way almost everything - from vaccines to computers to automobile tires to objects not yet imagined - is designed and made. If nanotechnology is to change how we design and how we live, then a study of nanotechnology’s implications for architecture is clearly needed. This paper addresses questions about nanotechnology and the built environment at three levels. First, what role does nanotechnology play today in architecture? Many nano-engineered materials are already available to architects and builders, and are beginning to transform our buildings. Looking further ahead, nanotechnologies now in research and development will likely have a significant impact on building within the next twenty years. For example, carbon nanotubes could bring unprecedented strength and flexibility to our buildings. On the far horizon, the full impact of nanotechnology on our lives and our environment into the next century and beyond is impossible to predict but important to consider. The aim of this paper is to analyze the architectural impacts of nanotechnology. Its results are intended to help individuals in the academic and professional communities as well as the general public make intelligent choices about the future of our relationship to the built environment.