During the past 2 years of global stress, death and self-isolation caused by the Covid pandemic, everybody seemed to be on a lookout for serenity and calm. They could use the time to finish up on their reading or knitting. They could also take up other new hobbies or indulge in TikTok.
While all this was going on, the advancement of new technology did not stop.
As a reflection, before the year 2020, talk was rife about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and how even robots would take over our jobs. There was supposed to be a huge workplace disruption and autonomous vehicles were going to be commonplace in our future society.
Fast forward now. The world is slowly going back to look at electric vehicles and the building of more charging infrastructure. The reason is simple. If people find it a hassle to charge their electric vehicles, the sales will not hit the roof and the prices will be exorbitantly high – which translates to less purchases.
In this article, I will like to take a different perspective. I hope to merge the concept of charging stations with environmental sustainability.
As more countries are trying to promote the use of electric vehicles because of the perceived benefits to the environment, as a designer, I will like to strongly propose a study of how the design of electric charging stations can be viewed as the new hangouts in the next 10 years. I did not say this on a whim.
The essence of my suggestion is to construct the charging stations in a circular fashion and create a space where motorists can mingle together. The designer can then put different vending machines and outdoor plants to provide more serenity and calm to the area.
This circular design can also incorporate a convenience store or a deli – which can prove useful if built within a large condominium project.
This is like a wonderful and secret oasis that provides a similar effects of “forest bathing” that helps nourishes the soul and heals the earth.
I feel that thoughtful and sustainable architecture can help spread mental wellness and yet be kind to the environment. We must always find new ways of “softening” the effects of new technology because we need not feel that the pursuit of environmental sustainability and technological advancement need not be seen as binary choices. Both can co-exist together as a middle ground.
Of course the dream is to further harness the power of solar energy to charge electric vehicles but that may take a little longer to wait.
I feel that sustainable architecture should be a way of life and never just an after-thought.