I was reading the other day a very interesting article. Very clever architects from around the world came together with the idea of proclaiming ideas that will change the future of architecture and thereof, our lives. I wanted to share such dignified initiative with the intention of provoking you to look into the future and imagine a new architecture with such characteristics.
The first idea that struck me most profoundly was that:
Design will remove the stigma of aging.
Traditionally, homes have been designed for young, healthy adults, but not for people with disabilities, chronic illness, or simply aging users. As baby boomers age and take care of their parents, they and their children are beginning to recognize the need for housing to be designed to support all stages of life of an individual. Over the next years, designers will use design as a tool to compliment aging. New legislation in Spain and the rest of the EC is enforcing the simple idea that we will not stay young and agile forever. Slowly but surely, knees will ache when climbing stairs and backs when picking objects from the floor this is irremediably but none will accept these facts when they come to the studio to have a nice villa designed before they get married.
Offices will be our cathedrals and playgrounds.
We will work more for less. I heard this prophesy from one of these new emergent political parties and slowly but surely is becoming a cruel reality. The work place will become the space where we will spend most of our time. That's why offices will have to be more like cathedrals and playgrounds. Cathedrals, where we can worship our gods and playgrounds where we can relax for short period of time to be able to carry on working for longer periods of time without having to go back home. Most new airports and hospitals have chapels where we can pray and in Google central offices have relax spaces to play table tennis, skate or just take a nap.....
Greater empathy in design.
An empathetic understanding of how people experience a space if not the product will become more important than the user. With an aging population, those elements that may need help but do not necessarily want them ... for example; an alert bracelet is something to protect the user in case of an accident or illness. But nobody wants a reminder that we are irremediably aging so fast. The design of both products and buildings should respect the emotions of the user and their needs.
The internet of "things" will become the internet of "spaces".
The 'internet of things' refers to technologies like Nest y Fitbit, but one does not create a "smart object" simply by putting on a circuit board and connect it to the network. There will also be major ramifications for the way we design products and spaces. The converging requirements aged between baby boomers and millennial technological lead designers to focus on the point where product design and architecture intersect, they shall inform each other to create better results.
Interactive furniture and much more.
There will be new design tools to help designers create experiences in "technological craft 'for consumers that go beyond" beautiful "pixels." Most of the tools we use today have their roots in two-dimensional conventional static media, and they were created during the revolution of "desktop publishing" of the 80's and 90`s. We will see more "hybrid" programming tools that intertwine with the design.
If our thermostats is able to provide us with information and learn from us, why couldn't do the same our armchairs or conference rooms? Increasingly omnipresent sensing technology, coupled with mechanical automation and high-tech materials, will allow furniture and environments to effortlessly respond to and support the people using them. Your lounge chair will know how soft or firm you like your pillows, and automatically readjust for your partner. The conference room could tell you you're having a bad meeting, and give you tips for turning it around or to improve it next time..... Scary?
Well, wait for the second part of this article next week.