How can the architecture of our cities, our buildings, but above all the architecture of our lives, be better designed?
Author: Oona Horx-Strathern
- Megatrends that have a significant impact on living and building behavior are urbanization, individualization, connectivity, mobility and flexibility, as well as silver society. The various smaller-scale living trends are embedded in this.
- The McLiving trend describes that in response to the lack of available living and storage space, sustainable and affordable solutions are needed.
- The holistic approach of healthcare architecture aims to design healthcare buildings in such a way that architecture and design have a positive influence on the mental and physical health of patients and visitors. The focus is no longer on pure functionality.
- The indoor air is often more polluted than the outside air. This not only affects productivity, but can also have a negative impact on health. The indoor air care trend describes the latest developments in this area: air purification technologies on the one hand and a return to natural building materials on the other should counteract this.
- All senses play a role in the city: In the future, multi-sensory urban planning should improve the quality of life in cities, and everyday life should be made easier by olfactory, auditory or tactile experiences.
- Social isolation and loneliness are the biggest problem for cities. Finding inclusive solutions is a challenging task to enable a high quality of life in the city of the future.
Living trends for a better home
Living trends describe the trend developments in design and Architecture, on the residential markets and in the construction industry. They reflect the socially led discourses on the question of how people will live and live in the future and provide orientation in the dynamic markets around housing and building.
1. Vertical Village - New urban village communities
In times when the mobile society is looking for “home”, vertical villages are gaining in importance. They are intended to make it possible to recreate the ideal village model of community in the big cities in a minimal space in height and are considered to be showcase projects for future social coexistence. The concept was developed in response to the political and social challenges of the mobile and urban society and is intended to conquer the progressive province in the future.
Project Ried Hofen Source & Copyright by Neubau-Team
2. Tidyism - Live better in order
The trend phenomenon Tidyism is a reaction to a smaller living space and a lack of storage and storage space, especially in cities. Possession is increasingly perceived as ballast. Gurus, consultants and coaches who help to organize and manage the virtual and physical possessions also promise positive psychological effects. Tidyism becomes a lifestyle that focuses on the individual need for mindfulness and reduction. Self-storage units offer an alternative to complete “decluttering” - storage spaces that can be rented flexibly, in which things for which there is no space in the small apartments can be temporarily stored.
3. McLiving - living according to the fast food principle
After the fast food comes the fast home: As McLiving, Oona Horx-Strathern describes the trend towards cheap, practical, modular and mass-produced micro houses. More and more people are seeing micro-living and Tiny HouseCommunities as a cost-effective alternative to the traditional house. But the mass production of cheap mini-homes has negative environmental and health effects. The reason for the latter is described by the neuroscientist Dean Burnett in his book "The Happy Brain": "Our houses should be the place to which we can retreat when we are stressed or anxious. But if they're too small, our brain's threat detection system remains active. But that's exactly what our houses should prevent ”(Dean Burnett, The Happy Brain, 2018).
Health drives the construction industry
1. Healthcare Architecture - Healing buildings instead of hospitals
What impact the built environment has on our mental and physical health is the question of this year's industry insight on healthy building. For a long time, the focus of healthcare buildings was exclusively on their functional conditions. It is now clear that healthcare architecture has positive effects on the physical and psychological healing process. At the Construction new health facilities are based on a holistic construction concept. Healing Architecture combines functionality with well-being. For example, the concept of preventive urbanism should help to convey a feeling of normalcy and thus prevent negative feelings such as loneliness and isolation. Not least because of the aging world population and the increase in mental illnesses, the design of adequate health locations is an important task for the future.
2. Indoor Air Care - Better indoor air
In addition to the atmosphere, healthy living also plays a role in air quality - indoor air pollution is now often more serious than on the street. Sick building syndrome is a scientifically recognized phenomenon that is due to pollutants in furniture and building materials. Accordingly, indoor air care is gaining in importance and the market for air purifiers is booming. The biophilic design offers an alternative to a technical air purifier: air purifying plants, natural building materials and fresh air supply. In the future, it is no longer just a matter of building with low emissions, but also creating a healthy living environment.
City life - with all your senses
1. Senses and the City - How our senses determine the quality of life in a place
The focus chapter Urban Living deals with the social and often political challenges of a future-oriented city life. Cities are more than their visual impression, the cities of the future should appeal to all the senses of their residents and visitors. Interest in the urban sensory landscape (Senses and the City) is increasing - the promotion of positive sounds and smells can have a positive influence on the emotional mood and coexistence in big cities. Noise-canceling apps and noise reduction systems are making their way onto the market. More and more cities are investing in strategies of multi-sensory urban planning, which should enrich everyday life in the city through olfactory, auditory and tactile experiences. So-called public smell strategies, for example a ban on eating in the subway or the installation of public eco-toilets, are intended to improve the smell in the common area. In Tokyo, melodies enable auditory orientation in the metro and replace warning signals and announcements.
2. Disconnection in the Connected Society - creating connections against urban loneliness
Social isolation and loneliness is the main problem in cities - even though there are more networking options than ever before. Disconnection in the Connected Society affects everyone; it cannot be determined by gender, age or social affiliation. The design of public space can help people to feel comfortable, safe and involved. It can provide a basis for making new social contacts. Neighborhood and community projects and services in the areas of companionship and community are first approaches to mastering the challenge, in services in the areas of companion and community are first approaches to master the challenge in cities to create a sense of community and thereby better quality of life.
Source: Zukunftsinstitut from the trend study Home Report 2020