Open Access

On the Edge - future adaptation challenges: The role of futurology, scenario planning methodology and off grid design in architectural and urban teaching


The article describes the role of thinking about the future and its importance in architectural and urban education. The first part deals with the scientific discipline of futurology and the possibilities of its use in architectural and urban practice. It covers topics that futurology makes available to architecture and their influence on the urbanized environment. It relates the creation of strategic visions for urban development with the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the UN Habitat III initiative. The second part is dedicated to introducing the futurological method of scenario planning, and its origin and use. It mentions so-called megatrends as the driving forces of future scenarios, effecting future challenges and threats that cities will have to deal with. Further, it provides insight into how this method can benefit architectural and urban work and represents the way it was used during architectural teaching. It reflects on the advantages of creating visions in the educational process. In the last part, it shows the off-grid design as a suitable simulator of structural and system thinking, leading to a better understanding of how complex architectural and urban systems function. It highlights the contribution of space architecture projects as a source of innovative thinking. It anticipates that working on space projects where self-sufficiency is a necessity can also benefit thinking about ecology, self-sufficiency, and the sustainability of settlements on Earth.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Architecture and Design, Architecture, Architects, Buildings, Landscape Architecture, Landscape Architects, Design, Designers, other