A VISION FOR OUR COMMON FUTURE
To celebrate the start of 2021, CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati would like to invite you to join a discussion on the role of design in tomorrow’s world.
As our planet is facing the rising threat of climate change, it is crucial to experiment with new ways to move towards a more sustainable future. As designers and innovators, we feel committed to addressing this challenge.
To borrow the words of Bucky Fuller, the great 20th-century American polymath: “We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims.”
Many of the projects we run at CRA share a common objective: achieving better integration between the natural and artificial worlds. There are two ways to achieve this.
Buildings are acquiring the ability to “become alive” and adapt to our needs as they get imbued with sensors, Internet of Things networks, and artificial intelligence. When technology “animates the artificial,” it facilitates better interaction between humans and the surrounding environment.
For instance, CRA’s Digital Water Pavilion, built at the entrance to the World Expo in Zaragoza, uses streams of water to make walls that could appear and vanish at will, forming dynamic patterns, written text, and even delight for small children. While with Cloud Cast, we aimed to address this issue by creating mobile, responsive clouds of fresh air that follow people as they move under a canopy.
Nature itself can merge with the built environment as living organisms become a kind of construction material. CRA has been one of the first firms to use green elements, such as vertical gardens. We worked with botanist Patrick Blanc for the design of Trussardi Dehor’s Unexpected Garden – a French-style terrace above the ground floor of a café, which brings 100 square meters of plant greenery, shade, and clean air without taking up any floor space.
Experimenting with new materials and with the principles of the Circular Economy, we can achieve another ambitious objective: to design buildings that are born from nature, and then return to it.
Our Circular Garden is an experimental installation, developed for the energy company Eni, featuring a series of arches grown from mycelium mushrooms. After a few weeks of the exhibition, these mushrooms returned to nature and fed rich nutrients to the soil.
In the year ahead, while many of our projects approach completion – from the Italian Pavilion at the World Expo in Dubai, to Singapore’s CapitaSpring skyscraper, to Milan’s VITAE for Covivio – we will keep striving to invent new ways to improve our cities.
Together, we can contribute to making a positive impact on the world. Thank you for sharing this journey with us.
Join the conversation at email@example.com.
All the Best Wishes for a Happy New Year,
The Team at CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati
Images (from above): Digital Water Pavilion, Zaragoza (2008); Cloud Cast, Dubai (2015); Trussardi Dehor, Milan (2008); Circular Garden, Milan (2019); Italian Pavilion at Expo Dubai 2020, Dubai (2019-21); CapitaSpring, Singapore (2018-21); VITAE, Milan (2019-22).
In the slideshow: The Greenary, Parma (2019-21); Lugano Waterfront, Lugano (2020); Feel the Peel, Rimini (2019); Italian Pavilion at Expo Dubai 2020, Dubai (2019-21); Sunny Inside -Zambon HQ, Milan (2018-19); Living Nature, Milan (2018).