As we head into 2018, now is a good time to take a look at a couple of long term future trends for the year and beyond, as demonstrated by the renowned trend hub known as the ‘Theme Park’ at world-leading home textile fair Heimtextil, which took place in Frankfurt, Germany in early January.
While this is strictly a textile fair, the trends unveiled at Heimtextil draw inspiration from major lifestyle and demographic movements or ‘megatrends’, which in turn influence thinking about home design, architecture and interior décor. For those in the luxury space working with residential architects Sydney the ripple effects will be felt as these trends trickle down into the market’s consciousness and resulting demand.
The healthy space
With most of the world’s population now living in cities, we spend most of our time inside and separated from the great outdoors, so the indoor spaces in which we live have an effect on our well-being. Architects and designers are increasingly looking for innovative design that enhances our health and mindfulness, and home builders in NSW could well be among early adopters.
A key trend in this direction is known as Biophilia. Humans have an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life, a desire translating into design influences in the built environment, in the form of a more elaborate approach to indoor planting than the humble pot plant. London based architect Asif Khan created ‘Forests’, a series of installations for the Mini car brand, to address the lack of nature in cities. Three room sized translucent boxes were installed around London for the London Design Festival. And the Joolz Headquarters in Amsterdam by Space Encounters (pictured above) echoed the same concept. While the average Sydney builder might not use the term ‘biophilia’ don’t be surprised to see examples emerging showing how such projects could be translated to indoor nature hubs in the luxury interiors market.
The flexible space
The demise of the nuclear family and the multi person home is a striking sign of our times. We’re settling down and marrying later (if at all) having fewer children and outliving partners for longer. More than half of America is single and in Europe one third lives alone. More than half of Parisians live alone, while 60 per cent of Stockholm households are single person.
Available space is being optimised through the creation of flexible studio apartments and work living spaces with transformable furniture and adaptable configurations that change at the push of a button. Prefab structures and portable furniture are coming to the fore, reflecting an increasingly footloose mindset driven by experience over ownership.
Micro apartments are on the rise, some as small as 13 square metres. Furniture and fittings are becoming modular; scalable and made for repeated assembly and disassembly to accommodate itinerant lifestyles and flexible living and working patterns.
13M2 by Studiomama (pictured above) questions what is needed to live comfortably in a limited space within a megacity, Nina Tolstrup of Studiomama has converted a former minicab office in Islington into a micro apartment that encompasses only 13 square metres. Again, we wouldn’t assume that luxury home owners would want to mimic this minimal floor space completely, but residential architects Sydney are already becoming increasingly interested in optimising even the most luxury spaces through a flexible approach to design.