I support President Trump’s opinion regarding the need for natural sunlight and connecting with nature, and that human beings are not meant to remain encased indoors for long.
I would like to start my article by pointing out that it does not bear any political inclinations or views towards US President Donald Trump, even though he is the favorable candidate in my opinion since we know where he stands on most matters.
This article aims to address the latest presidential debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump, after Democratic candidate Biden implied that four million homes in America will be redeveloped to make their windows smaller for energy-saving purposes.
President Trump strongly denounced this idea, explaining that it will only cause further depression and make people feel like they are locked up in cages. He also expressed how he favored glass facades because of their profound psychological impact on residents.
At the beginning, I would like to note that this emphasis on architecture and its psychological and economic impacts during a presidential debate only serves to highlight the importance of such matters. Architecture plays a fundamental role in ensuring social and economic stability at the global level, and this is what caught my attention and the attention of my colleague Fuad Al-Dharman (from Aramco) who said: this matter must be discussed and analyzed at length especially in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
The use of glass facades in architecture especially in desert areas with harsh climates has long been discussed. I recall as an architecture student in the mid-eighties, the trend was to design buildings with small windows to reduce the amount of heat that enters buildings and therefore decrease energy expenditures.
This can be noted upon looking at the buildings that were designed during that period. Small windows were one of the characteristics of regional architecture and they can be considered a smart adaptation to environmental factors. However, as time went by, this trend lost its appeal after people grew bored of this disconnection with the outside world. This need to connect with the outdoors pushed architects to develop outside the box solutions to climate challenges.
I agree with President Trump’s opinion about the importance of glass facades in this modern day and age. It is highly essential for residents to be able to interact with the outside world as they remain indoors as proven by modern architectural theories. I fully agree with the president’s emphasis on the need for natural sunlight and connecting with nature, and that human beings are not meant to remain encased indoors for long with no connection to the outside world.
The main goal behind any dwelling is protection and not complete isolation from nature. For this reason, we have witnessed tremendous developments in the field of architecture and glass techniques were refined to create more open spaces that help people feel one with nature.
Younger generations are pushing towards incorporating nature into architecture by finding solutions and technologies to adapt to the surrounding environment instead of blocking it. For instance, insulated glass technologies have been upgraded to filter sun rays and reduce heat transfer more effectively. This greatly reduces the need for smaller windows. Such developments are only the beginning, and we will undoubtedly witness more developments in the coming years.
What I mean to say is that challenges usually bring with them opportunities for evolvement. In our pursuit to limit environmental difficulties, we have reached many smart solutions. Instead of turning our backs on nature, we must focus on befriending it. I believe we can all agree that our modern way of living in concrete boxes has imprisoned us and shut us out from the outside world. In order to truly feel more in touch with our surroundings, our focus should go beyond natural sunlight and we should pay attention to creating open spaces that encourage social interaction, thus creating an innovative modern space that is dynamic and full of life.
Therefore, I feel well warranted to say that I agree with Trump, and I support his views on this issue because he has demonstrated that he has a sound understanding of architecture. He realizes the importance of psychological and social stability and not just economic gains. When it comes to architecture, many things should be taken into consideration and not just finances.
For this reason, I find myself constantly criticizing housing policies drawn by the Ministry of Housing due to their dismissal of social, cultural and psychological considerations while prioritizing financial aspects. In my opinion, they need to take President Trump’s lead and follow his approach since it stems from experience and deep understanding of people’s needs.
*This article was originally published in, and translated from, Al Riyadh.