What Will Future Living Spaces Be Like?
View Oct 02, 2020
As a natural consequence of the pandemic period, health and
hygiene issues in design will become more important than ever.
“Each age demands its own form.” These words belong to Hannes Meyer, one of the representatives of the Bauhaus Art Movement, which reflects the cultural, economic and social modernisation in Europe since 1850 and means “the meeting of modernisation with design”. In his paper The New World in 1926, he says, “Ideally and in its elementary design our house is a living machine. Meyer’s words are still relevant today.
On one hand, we have a global pandemic affecting the whole world and locking billions in their houses, and an advance technology bringing that entire world into our places on the other. In such a period, values, lives, habits and of course, our living areas will inevitably be changed and transformed. And of course, the dynamics of this period will clearly take new forms according to the conditions of our times and the desires of our societies. Just like every other part of our lives, we see changes in traditional business models. We are taking a step towards a new era where we see different collaborations take shape in designing living areas. In these collaborations, architects, ecologists, sociologists and technological companies will begin to work together. Business models with 3D virtual reality designs and engineering will stand out. Customers will have the chance to experience projects even in their design phases and help to reshape them according to their desires and needs.
Health will stand out in design and living spaces
As a natural consequence of the pandemic period, health and hygiene issues in design will become more important than ever. From elevators to doors, from surfaces to common areas, all details will be reconsidered. By bringing living spaces close to nature, we will have the opportunity to feel like we are “outdoors” while living in the comfort of our “indoor” areas. People will start wanting small gardens in their houses, or at least a balcony or a terrace where they can occupy themselves with vertical farming.
During the quarantines around the world, the majority of employees continued working from their homes. And now the remote working is expected to turn into a permanent model. Thus, the need for home-offices will substantially increase in the upcoming years. Such a need will lead to a rethinking of interior designs. Rooms with large windows, technological equipment and acoustic insulations will be added to houses.
With independent living areas, buildings will have their own water and heating systems. Today, buildings are responsible for 30 per cent of the global carbon emission. In a world where fossil fuels are slowly abandoned, carbon zero/positive buildings that produce their own energy from renewable resources, recycle their own waste and integrate with nature will gain importance. The importance of sustainable architecture will surely increase in the upcoming period.
The concept of smart and flexible houses will become indispensable
Smart home systems will go one step further and transform themselves in accordance with the needs of their age. All innovations brought to our lives by technology will come into prominence in houses’ security systems or kitchens. For instance, not only the temperature of the air but also its quality and hygiene will be controlled. The air coming into the house from outside will be filtered. If we consider the fact that the air we breathe is more and more polluted every day, we can easily say that our future living areas will stand out in protecting our health, and houses with these features will gain more importance.
The writer of “Building an Affordable House“, Fernando Pages Ruiz says that “When you have guests in a flexible house you can create an instant guest room by moving some walls and lighting switches to that area.” Thus, we are faced with flexible living spaces, another feature of the new living areas. In this period where we meet different circumstances such as developing technologies, increasing mobility or social isolation, remote working, people will want to have the freedom to scale down, up or move their living space and shape their houses accordingly.
At this point, NEF’s discoveries “Foldhome”, “Foldoffice” and “Foldcity”, realized with the aim to make design a lifestyle rather than a luxury, create an important value for both the future of living areas and the sharing economy. Meaning a “folding house”, Foldhome allows the rooms that don’t fit into one house to be included in it through folding. Foldoffice saves office owners from paying rent for square meters they don’t need. And Foldcity offers people purchasing a house in İstanbul the freedom to live in 25 different places of the city.
The living areas of the future will be shaped by the needs of the people living in there and the designs producing solutions for them. But, first of all, our living areas should be open to innovations that the future will bring, durable in unexpected crises, and as much flexible and technological as to adapt to the changing needs of house owners. As in the words of Hannes Mayer, each age demands its own form according to its needs. Our mission will be following the world closely, analysing the needs and expectations of our society properly and producing innovative and sustainable solutions.
Chairman of the Executive Board at NEF Erden Timur