Home Designs for the Future: Where Do We Go From Here?
Looking around our cities, I am sure you'd agree, that our living space is getting smaller and increasingly unaffordable - continuous population growth, longer life expectancy and the economic climate are just a few contributing factors. Owning a decent property (or any at all) just seems to be a distant dream for many. Of course, people tend to settle down relatively later these days and many continue to move to big cities for jobs. It is reported that by 2025, 60% of the population in London will be renters and similar situation is happening in the U.S. And do you know Hong Kong is considered as the most unaffordable for housing for seven years in a row?
So how is the design world responding to this global phenomenon?
Open plan living was once very popular but now we realised reclaiming our personal space and privacy is equally important. We are greedy, after all. Wouldn't it be great if we can just wave a magic wand and turn a room from a private office by day to an open, welcoming space to entertain by night? You'll be glad to hear that magic is not necessary here, but quite simply, replacing your walls with steel and glass windows. If you think the legendary Crittall windows are only good for conventional use and for loft conversions, then think again. The industrial frames don't just add attitude and personality to interiors of all shapes and sizes, it gives the space flexibility and opens up to the abundance of natural light. Whenever you need privacy, simply shut the door and draw the curtains. Transformation is complete.
Living in high rise blocks is a norm for many city dwellers, but overcrowding results in a lot of environmental issues and making the living conditions worse than ever. Architects and designers are now turning their eyes to eco homes, plant-covered towers and vertical forests. If you read my story on creating your own vertical gardens, you would know that covering towers with plants is nothing new in cities such as Singapore. It is no coincidence that trend forecasters like Pantone declared Greenery as the Colour of Year in 2017. However it's important to understand the message is more than just using colour green in the interiors and add a few plants just because it's on trend. As we continue to advance our technology towards a more sustainable future, it's a reminder that eco homes and architectural greenery should become a priority in both developed and developing countries.
ANALOGUE SMART HOME
As we fully embrace the digital age with smart products penetrating in all corners of our homes, we want our furniture and home accessories to be able to adapt to these rapid changes, save space and stand the test of time. Introducing 'Analogue Smart Home' - a brilliant concept by the Singaporean designer Olivia Lee. Celebrating much success in Milan Design Week earlier this year, her Athena Collection addresses the issues that a contemporary digital home faces in an uber stylish way. These products are deliberately analogue, focusing on their versatile functions and tactility. From the selfie-ready vanity to the VR-friendly rug and seating-pad-turned-acoustic-panels, each product is well thought-through, beautiful to see and touch, perfect for us design-savvy modern ladies! After meeting Olivia briefly at the Milan in Review panel discussion recently, I totally shared her view that contemporary designs should focus more on addressing real users' needs over style and vanity. Watch the introduction below by Olivia herself:
So next time when you look at a design trend, try to think beyond the beautiful surface and discover how it's going to improve our lives? You will be surprised...
What other design trends do you think should top the list for future homes? Share your thoughts below and join the discussion!