Architecture is an ever-changing science. From the brutalism of the early 20th century to the modernism that defined the ‘60s, the buildings that people want to build are never quite the same. As time wears on, new trends continually emerge. In the 2020s, there are quite a few new trends that we can count on. And, as you might guess, the main push for change in architectural design is coming from technology.

Social Trends


Thanks to the advent of new digital norms, people have changing styles of working together. The cubicle may never die out, but in modern office buildings, designs are moving to more open spaces that let people work easily with each other.

Specialists in their fields help design new buildings now, too; computer techs, business people, social anthropologists, and more are becoming active team members, helping architects create the buildings they will ultimately work in. These experts not only help design buildings where work is more efficient, but buildings that can help keep workers happy and meet their social and physical needs. New eyes can also bring in new insights in how to achieve complex architectural designs.



No longer the realm of hippies and dreamers, sustainability in architecture is now becoming an industry standard. We know that our resources shouldn’t be taken for granted, so buildings today make better use of theirs, generally power and natural gas.

As buildings become more efficient in how they use what they are given, more is possible. Solar rooftop panels, solar water heating, natural lighting, better insulation, use of recycled building materials, and spaces that promote natural airflow for cooling are more and more commonplace every day. Expect many companies to start eco-builds using photovoltaic glass and trees or plants growing on rooftops in the near future. Green buildings are also the economic choice for developers—better use of resources means saving money.

Health and Social Wellness

The places where people live and work can encourage them to have better lifestyles. Everything from making staircases prettier (so people use them instead of an elevator) to building open, social spaces where people can just hang out when they aren’t working are ways to help people practice healthier living. More amenities like exercise equipment and swimming pools are also used to aid in promoting healthier lifestyles.



In an age marked by knock-offs and digital creations of reality, people crave what is real. Architects are bringing authenticity back to design in various ways. Local crafts and materials are used in building construction, local arts make decoration, and open spaces showcase the nearby spaces and environment.


Natural Tones

Earthy, deep tones mark a lot of new design. Grays, greens, and browns reflect nature’s beauty, and are also calming and soothing. These nods to nature play into the eco-friendly path that many businesses are following.

For more interior design and social trends, read this article.


Technological Trends

VR and Immersion

Virtual reality is used already in architecture so that clients can “see” a building from the inside without even being there. This trend has helped with design in obvious ways, because anyone can see the building before it is built and find problems that might otherwise go unseen. They get a true feel for the space before the shovel hits the dirt.

Big Data and the Internet of Things

As we learn how to make better use of limited resources, we naturally become more connected. Today, there are CC cameras and various sensors in daily life, but we can expect to see more in architecture. Cities and buildings will be built to maximize efficient use of this data for raising the standard of living. Everything from no-car zones to apps that track what part of the city are busy and should be avoided are becoming the norm. Smart houses are a portent of what’s to come, and the buildings of the future will need to be smart if they want to survive and thrive.



More Advanced Computer Aided Design (CAD)


The Building Information Model is a 3D design for a building which contains that building’s detailed designs and information. Not just a 3D model, but a full-on design and process, the BIM contains a project model that can be changed throughout the project’s life. Data is attached to parts of the model, showing what will be used to build its surfaces and parts. The model can also be stored in a database, so that it can be changed and looked at by various collaborators and stakeholders while staying up-to-date in its design.


Geometric Coding Language

Also called parametric design, this is when different aspects of the architecture are put into a computer program which then designs shapes based on what’s capable with those materials. From there, people can change the shape and tweak the creation however they want.

Building Up

As available arable and natural land shrink and our population grows, people look to new and better ways to make use of space. This notion of building vertically has been around a long time, and it isn’t going away any time soon. New advances in technology, both in people’s everyday lives and in construction, now mean that new buildings can fit more in them by building up rather than out.



Multi-Purpose Designs

Besides offering new ways to save money, designs with more than one purpose are convenient for workers and clients. Reclining chairs with arms for tablets mean people can do some work or reading while sitting back; windows with solar cells give you a great view while generating power for the building; cabinets and desks with pull-out seating means you can have a quick, unplanned meeting in your office.

To learn more about technology in building, look here.


Reliable and Cutting-edge Construction

If you are looking to make the modern building of your dreams, look no further than Reliable Commercial. Our professional and qualified commercial contractors can do everything you need to bring your innovative architectural projects to life. Design your building with the future in mind hand-in-hand with Reliable Commercial.