Arup in 25 years

Visions of the future are a grateful subject, so to mark its 25th anniversary on the Polish market, Arup, a powerhouse in sustainable engineering, has produced a film precisely about what the world should look like in another 25 years. But it gave the floor on this topic not to experts, but to children.

At first, the judges, of the 18th FilmAT Festival – the International Festival of Corporate Films, Television Documentaries and Tourfilms, were surprised. No one had yet presented them with a film like this, and on a serious Corporate theme. But when they watched the film, they approached the subject with interest.

Because, in fact, in the pure minds of children, very obvious dreams are born, free of rigid assumptions, limitations and schemes. Anyway, see for yourself the video, prepared on the occasion of Arup’s 25th anniversary in Poland, with children’s statements about their visions of the future, and judge if I am not right….

The film “25 years of Arup in Poland: the world in 25 years through the eyes of children” won as many as two awards, the Corporate Image Film award and a special award from the Festival director.

Let’s recall, “Arup is a global expert in ‘sustainable engineering’ with architects, designers, engineers in its staff. The firm acts as a technical advisor, providing support throughout the entire investment process – from concept to completion to the handover of the building. Arup has been involved in projects in more than 140 countries around the world in areas such as, among others, aviation, energy, real estate, industry, technology…” The company is known for the realisation of icons of contemporary architecture, such as the Sydney Opera House and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. It has also been active on the Polish market for 25 years and during this time has taken part in the realisation of projects such as Złote Tarasy, the Złota 44 skyscraper, the Orientarium in Łódź ZOO and the Green Vision of Warsaw.

Orientarium Łódź

Complex investments that require a great deal of knowledge, talent and responsibility. And now let’s look at the statements of seasoned sustainable engineering experts, have they received answers to the questions they asked the children? In their opinion, some developments are already pointing to the possibility of many children’s visions coming true.

ICE Krakow Congress Centre
photo Wojciech Wandzel
International Congress Centre in Katowice
PepsiCo Factory in Środa Śląska
Warsaw’s Galeria Północna shopping centre
How might cities and buildings look like in 25 years?

Spaces full of forests, parks and animals, magical houses and advanced technology that simplifies life – these are just a few of the extraordinary ideas described by the children in the film…

But will the houses ever really come to life?
Can they really be built from organic concrete?

Among the children’s dreams were those of living in houses made of doughnuts and chocolate. You probably immediately thought of concepts familiar from fairy tales. But according to Arup engineers, in 25 years’ time we can expect a downright fabulous revolution when it comes to the materials used to build homes. “We may not be living in a doughnut house in the future, but just like the yeast added to doughnut dough, living organisms will also be present in modern building materials. We are striving to make the materials used in construction last as long as possible, so that they do not need to be demolished or repaired. Solutions taken from nature help us to do this”, says Łukasz Olbromski, HVAC Leader at Arup.

POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews
Will robots help us at every step?

Children’s visions of the future included technology. Among the ideas appeared, for example, robots cleaning the house themselves and translating dog barking into human speech. Translating animal sounds is not Arup’s specialization, but its experts admit that the technology will have a huge impact on construction. Thanks to technology, the construction process will be not only more effective, but also safer. Arup experts predict that the widespread use of printed prefabricated elements may be of great importance. It is already possible today to build a printed house, thanks to the use of fragments produced as a whole in factories. This construction process increases the safety of work.

Cadbury Factory

“Machine learning algorithms are already being used to improve many tasks in the design process and on construction sites. They can be used, for example, to monitor whether each employee is wearing a helmet, to check the technical condition of tunnels in places that are difficult to access for inspectors, or to optimize structures to minimize the carbon footprint. However, the biggest challenge we now face is to combine these many existing building blocks into one comprehensive, automated and coherent design process. Construction is an industry in which we still have a lot to improve and new technologies will certainly help us with this”, says Agnieszka Tatarczak, Digital Expert at Arup.

Will forest cities be created?

Children intuitively connect threads of changing the world for the better with living close to nature. Visions of places filled with forests, parks, and animals show how important the presence of nature is in everyday life. Enhancing the well-being of users, biodiversity and integration with nature are already considered to be the most important elements of architecture and urban planning. According to experts from Arup, over the next 25 years, the development associated with these areas will accelerate. This is also related to the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions and the occurrence of so-called heat islands, which arise due to the heating of urban spaces devoid of greenery. At the same time, cities will encourage residents to spend their leisure time outdoors, among other things, by creating spaces for sports activities.

“According to UN estimates, by 2050, nearly 70 percent of the global population will be living in cities, which is why creating a sustainable world will not be possible without the emergence of healthy urban areas. We are already taking small steps in this direction. Current urban projects involve the introduction of trees and greening of squares. However, considering how crucial this is in reducing emissions and increasing the well-being of residents, this will develop even more rapidly”, says Łukasz Rakowski, Excellence Director at Arup.

Polish Aviation Museum Kraków
ECOPET Factory

The perspective on the process of building construction will also change so that the solutions applied reduce energy consumption and carbon footprint not only generated by daily use but also by the building creation process. However, the biggest challenge may lie in decarbonizing the energy infrastructure. This is associated with costs that need to be incurred to achieve sustainable development goals, so it is crucial to plan, understand, and implement financial mechanisms that do not shift the entire transformation costs onto businesses.

“Creating new green areas and habitats for animals is not easy to reconcile with urban development, but cities like Warsaw and Wałbrzych are already making efforts to address these issues in their plans. Contemporary agglomerations are increasingly implementing solutions based on nature and biodiversity. When it comes to urban development, children’s fairy-tale visions of green and friendly spaces are definitely close to reality”, says Stefan Obłąkowski, City Planning and Design Leader at Arup.

Green Vision of Warsaw

The above statements concern the latest achievements in the field of construction and planning of large cities. However, the statements of the children’s protagonists included topics related to the overall change in teaching methods, and there was even a desire to work in a scientific institute. As you can see, the youngest generation is already planning to actively participate in the upcoming changes.

There was also the topic of tourism in the broadest sense of the term, the dreams of the youngest participant to visit different countries around the world. And there was also the most important wish, which we can all subscribe to: that there would be no wars in the world! Some dreams are unchangeable, regardless of technology or generation, and there was also the one about true love…

We wish the film’s protagonists and ourselves all these dreams come true, and we wish Arup and its employees many more years of success on the Polish market!

Arup office
Arup office
Arup office

We would like to thank Arup for sharing their beautiful photographs with us.

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Text: Ewa Kotus
Translation: Wojciech Jaworek

Arup in 25 years