Of course, home living design in 2024 is evolving, but what forms has contemporary living adopted? How has the concept of home evolved over the last few years? How have domestic habits changed? How are they likely to change over the next few decades? What challenges do domestic spaces face right now in order to become more “habitable.” What influence is the housing crisis and the cost of building having on what we deliver as designers?
The concept of home living is dynamic, constantly evolving with time and trends. In this article, we will explore contemporary living and the transformations home living has undergone over the years. We will also discuss how domestic habits have changed and might continue to change over the next few decades. We will delve into the challenges domestic spaces are currently facing to become more “habitable”, and the impact of the housing crisis and the cost of building has on our designs.
Our idea of home living is not set in stone. It is subject to constant change. Some cities are becoming increasingly dynamic, technological even, and oriented towards the future, influencing our idea of home living. Some cities have embraced vertical living, whilst others prefer suburban sprawl. One could argue that one is not better than the other, but simply a preference, with each facing its own challenges.
For instance, suburban living often strains our infrastructure, as residents commute to the city for work. On the other hand, vertical living simplifies commuting but may compromise on space, privacy, security, and in some cases, mental freedom. It’s also worth noting that developers of vertical living apartments face funding challenges due to uncontrollable project costs and prolonged construction timelines, which increase financial risks – a current hurdle the banks don’t have much appetite for.
Progressive cities worldwide are emphasizing sustainability, striving to enhance their urban layout, and make spaces more efficient, liveable, and interconnected on a human scale. In this context, design serves as a lens to understand reality and its trajectories, revealing unprecedented consumer needs and habits. The new objects that populate domestic spaces are characterized by future-oriented design. Along with design and functionality, durability is a crucial aspect of sustainability, often overlooked by specifiers and designers. Change, coupled with technological development, has become a recurring theme, simplifying daily processes and improving contemporary living.
As an official international press associate at Salone del Mobile in Milan, I have been privileged to witness numerous design conversations by elite international designers. The subject of contemporary living is high on their agendas. At the Cheval Blanc Paris, a historic Parisian building revisited by Peter Marino, designer Patrick Jouin emphasized that home living is in constant evolution. He said, “The number of family members changes, we’re living longer, and we become more attached to our homes as we age. What we learned in design and architecture schools is no longer 100% sufficient. It’s crucial to remain updated and adaptable, and to understand life in a broader, deeper context. As a designer, it’s important to maintain a balance and not be alarmed by changes.”
In London, at the 5-star Bulgari Hotel designed by Antonio Citterio, British designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby highlighted that recent years have accelerated change. They noted, “Precisely because people spend more time at home than in the past, it has to be capable of serving a number of different functions. We have noticed an increasing rejection of rooms designed for a single function, in favour of larger, multi-functional spaces that adapt according to the different times of the day.”
At the Hotel Wilmina in Berlin, a former women’s prison, German designer Konstantin Grcic pointed out that change permeates different places and cultures. He said, “You can’t just talk about a single trend. The concept of home living is multifaceted and carries a different meaning in every culture.”
2024 will be an interesting year for design as we navigate numerous challenges in the building and construction industries. If possible, I highly recommend visiting Salone del Mobile in Milan, Italy, from 16-21 April 2024. In my opinion, it is the best show for leading design-oriented fixtures and furnishings.
This year, the Build Review will place greater emphasis on design, including architectural, interior, landscape, and lighting design. We invite you to contact our editorial team if you have a good educational story, project, or case study to share. Email: email@example.com.