Home Report 2020 - Future of Living and Building

How can the architecture of our cities, our buildings, but above all the architecture of our lives, be better designed?

Food report 2021
Source & Copyright by Guillaume Alan

Author: Oona Horx-Strathern

  • Megatrends that significantly shape living and building behavior are Urbanization, individualization, connectivity, mobility and Flexibility as well as Silver Society. The various small-scale living trends are embedded in it.
  • 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

Nach dem Fast-Food kommt das Fast-Home: Als McLiving beschreibt Oona Horx-Strathern den Trend zu billigen, praktischen, modularen und massenproduzierten Mikrohäusern. Immer mehr Menschen sehen Micro-Living und 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

Das Schwerpunktkapitel Urban Living setzt sich mit den sozialen und oft politischen Herausforderungen eines zukunftsorientierten Stadtlebens auseinander. Städte sind mehr als ihr visueller Eindruck, die Städte der Zukunft sollen alle Sinne ihrer Bewohner und Besucherinnen ansprechen. Das Interesse an der urbanen Sinneslandschaft (Senses and the City) steigt – durch die Förderung positiver Geräusche und Gerüche kann ein positiver Einfluss auf die emotionale Stimmung und das Zusammenleben in Großstädten genommen werden. Noise-Cancelling-Apps und Systeme zur Lärmverminderung bahnen sich ihren Weg auf den Markt. Immer mehr Städte investieren in Strategien der multisensorischen Stadtplanung, die durch olfaktorische, auditive und taktile Erfahrungen den Alltag in der Stadt bereichern sollen. Durch sogenannte Public-Smell-Strategien, zum Beispiel ein Essverbot in der U-Bahn oder die Aufstellung von öffentlichen Öko-Toiletten, soll der Geruch im gemeinschaftlichen Raum verbessert werden. In Tokio ermöglichen Melodien die auditive Orientierung in der Metro und lösen Warnsignale und Ansagestimmen ab.

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


Always informed about the latest lifestyle trends, architecture, design & interior, as well as current technologies around sustainability.

Author: Oona Horx-Strathern

Oona Horx-Strathern has been a trend researcher, consultant, speaker and author for over 25 years. She wrote books on the history of futurology and the architecture of the future, worked on numerous studies at the Zukunftsinstitut and spoke about architecture as a lifestyle, urban development and socio-demographic change. She shares her life between Germany, England and the “Future Evolution House” that she built in Vienna with her husband Matthias Horx.

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