Tech driven, forward thinking and at one with nature: we forecast the future of living with our experts. Digital artist Charlotte Taylor imagines this brave new world through computer-generated spaces, complete with new-season homewares and finishing touches.
While we’re not quite at The Jetsons space colonisation stage yet, the next decade and beyond will bring many changes to lifestyle and interiors. Alongside changing attitudes around comfort and wellness, we can expect to see major advances in home AI, automation and immersive experiences, as well as the need for radical climate modifications across architecture and interior design. So where do you and your home fit in and how, in your given circumstances, can you climb aboard the DeLorean into the future?
Discover Home, reimagined in the spring issue of JONES Home.
Flexibility in the Home
The conversation around the home of the future includes discussion about the need for more adaptive and resilient spaces. With people now relying on their homes to also perform as their office space, school, wellness centre, the gym and other functions, versatility within your space is key. What that means for specific areas of the home is that some spaces will need to work harder. Take the kitchen, for example. “Looking forward, it’ll still be the highest performing hub of a home, but will conceal vernacular devices – like a dishwasher or toaster – so once its duty as a ‘kitchen’ finishes, it transitions into a day office or social hub. It’ll be equipped with charging cabinets for devices and connection ports on the underside of the bench with office essential cupboards within easy reach. An uncluttered working surface for multiple purposes will be essential as will be more ergonomic bar stools for longer usage,” says Yasmine Saleh Ghoniem, principal of YSG.
Cast Iron Oval Casserole
Il Conico Water Kettle
Dahlstrom Tools Casserole
A Return to Nature
In a general sense, designers and architects are now getting behind what new science confirms, that nature nurtures. “We want to start with bringing nature back into homes,” says sustainable architect Koichi Takada. “Naturalising architecture includes greening to start with but, holistically, we’re trying to achieve carbon neutrality. Since the pandemic, which affected all of us, having a healthier lifestyle is key, and increasingly wellness has become a very important part of designing homes.” A return to nature through biophilic design, which focuses on a person’s innate attraction to nature and natural processes, is now taking centre stage. According to architect John Ellway, connection to the outside world is vital. “Just as social connections are important in the home, outward connections are really important, too. Physical and visual connections out to the trees and the garden can extend into your house and will make you feel like that space is part of the inside. Nature can be the free addition to the house and it’s beautiful.”
Sustainability in More Ways Than One
We can expect low-impact living and the mass acceptance of recycled and reused materials to be mainstream within the next 10 years. At a baseline, we will see more insulation in floors, walls and ceilings, double glazing of windows, hydro heating, the removal of gas and the connection of energy to renewables. Interior designer Tali Roth is seeing a practical approach from her clients. “From water efficient taps to waste and composting, there’s a consciousness in the types of materials people are choosing. Even down to the furniture there’s been a huge shift towards appreciating second-hand and vintage, and of course the use of non-toxic paints,” she says. A closed-loop design towards growing food, composting and feeding your garden is gaining momentum, while architects like Monique Woodward also visualise a blue-sky approach to sustainable homes of the future. “The fantasy would be a completely integrated home that breathed; that was so regenerative that it was not just carbon neutral it actually pumped oxygen into the air and replenished, rather than taking. The dream would be a truly carbon positive space that allowed you to connect with nature in a meaningful way.”
Ultimate Ceramic Reusable Water Bottle
Onslo King Quilt Cover Set
Landscape Organic Mug
URBAN PLANT GROWERS
Ecokitchen Smart Garden
AI, immersive technology and digital connectivity will continue to make giant leaps forward, digitising the home and opening new entertainment experiences. Tech will also play a pivotal role for our planet. Takada explains: “Whether you agree or disagree, AI is becoming a big part of our life. We have less than 30 years to achieve carbon neutrality. If you look back on the industrial revolution 200 years ago, it changed the world and created the world as we live today. So, imagine undoing this in a tenth of the time. We need to rely on technology, we need to have innovation, we need to – like it or not – incorporate artificial intelligence to achieve efficient living. There’s just not enough time not to incorporate it.” He continues: “In some ways we talk about nature-inspired architecture, nature-inspired design but, equally, part of this is going highly artificial and that’s the balancing act in the future of interior design.”
From an interior’s perspective we can expect technology to thrive. “Perhaps homes of the future will remove internal walls to enable one space – beyond bedrooms and bathrooms – which can expand and retract via screens and be fitted with interchangeable VR environments to accommodate what current state of mind someone is in and serve multiple purposes. As a result, we’ll require less square meterage,” says Ghoniem. “As designers, we’ll be creating ranges of digital furniture as single units and design bundles – perhaps a table design, chairs, rug and a light – that can be sold as a virtual package. These designs will be projected upon physical units, while natural elements such as stone, timber species, mixed metals, fabric swatches, will aid our design process both on an inspirational and practical level,” she says.
Press Large Vase
THAMES & HUDSON
Hare + Klein – Interior
Locality and the Providence of Materials
Thinking local when it comes to the construction of our homes, and the providence of the materials and homewares we use, will become the norm. Where we once talked of Egyptian cotton or Chinese silk, the future home will consider consumption through the origins of waste material. Just as we’re now seeing items like plastic bottles become jewellery, we will consider how something’s original usage and the providence of where it came from informs its new life. Industrial designer Andrew Simpson explains: “More and more this providence, instead of it being like a geographic idea, is about a previous usage and how we’re then upcycling materials. We’re seeing a big push in that direction.”
Want to hear from our other expert Tastemakers? Read our interview with The Design Files founder and editor, Lucy Feagins, on the future of living.